FANDOM





Warning!



Violence and the Supernatural



The fictional World of Rifts®













Heroes Unlimited™ Sourcebooks



Palladium Books®



12455 Universal Drive



Taylor, MI 48180



Copyright 1998 Palladium Books Inc. All rights reserved, worldwide.



Palladium Books®, Megaverse®, and Rifts® are all registered trademarks owned & licensed by



Kevin Siembieda and Palladium Books Inc. Heroes Unlimited, Villains Unlimited, Aliens Unlimited,



Ninjas & Superspies and other titles and names are trademarks owned by Kevin Siembieda



and Palladium Books Inc. TMNT/Ninja Turtles are registered trademarks of Mirage Studio.



Available at stores everywhere!



112

is violent, deadly and filled with supernatural monsters. Other dimensional



beings, often referred to as "demons," torment, stalk and prey on humans. Other alien life forms, monsters,



gods and demigod, as well as magic, insanity, and war are all elements in this book.



Some parents may find the violence, magic and supernatural elements of the game inappropriate for young



readers/players. We suggest parental discretion.



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The Rifter™ Number Two



A sourcebook, G.M. & Player's guide and sourcebook for Rifts®



and the entire Palladium Books® Megaverse®!



Special Thanks to all The Rifter contributors and you guys and gals who support our efforts.



Our apologies to anybody who got accidentally left out or their name misspelled.



Second Printing — August, 1999



Copyright 1998 Palladium Books Inc. & Kevin Siembieda



All rights reserved, world wide, under the Universal Copyright Convention. No part of this book may be reproduced in part or



whole, in any form or by any means, without permission from the publisher, except for brief quotes for use in reviews. All incidents,



situations, institutions, governments and people are fictional and any similarity, without satiric intent, of characters or persons living



or dead, is strictly coincidental.



Cover Painting © Brom, all rights reserved.



Palladium Books®, Rifts®, RECON®, Nightbane®, The Palladium Fantasy Role-Playing Game® and Megaverse® are registered trademarks



owned and licensed by Kevin Siembieda and Palladium Books Inc.



Federation of Magic, Psyscape, Skraypers, Warlords of Russia, Heroes Unlimited, Phase World, Coalition States, Erin Tarn, Emperor Prosek,



Splugorth, Mega-Damage, Skelebots, SAMAS, Dog Boys, Dog Pack, Techno-Wizard, Ley Line Walker, Shifter, Cyber-Knight, Mystic Knight, Battle



Magus, Psi-Stalker, Simvan, Brodkil, Juicer, Crazy, 'Borg, 'Bot, D-Bee, Chi-Town, Triax, Fadetowns, Blood Shaman, Blood Magic, Texas



Slinger, TW Aviator, Coalition Digital Reaper, and other names, titles and likenesses of characters are trademarks owned by Kevin Siembieda and



Palladium Books Inc.



Knights of the Dinner Table™ is a trademark of Kenzer Co. and the creation of Jolly Blackburn.



Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles® is a registered trademark of Mirage Studio.



Robotech® is a registered trademark of Harmony Gold USA, Inc.



Palladium On-Line



www.paUadiumbooks.com



The Rifter™




  1. 2 RPG sourcebook series is published by Palladium Books Inc., 12455 Universal Drive,



lay lor, MI 48180. Printed in the USA.



2



Palladium Books® Presents:




/L_



THE



RIF1ER

  1. 2



r /




——— T I / -5?



RPG Guide and Megaverse® Sourcebook



Coordinator & Editor in Chief:



Wayne Smith



Supervising Coordinator



& Typesetting:



Maryann Siembieda



Contributing Writers:



Wayne Breaux Jr.



James M.G. Cannon



David Haendler



Shawn Merrow



William Muench



Jason Richards



Kevin Siembieda



Mark Sumimoto



Steve Trustrum



Erick Wujcik



Knights of the Dinner Table:



Jolly Blackburn



Contributing Editors:



Alex Marciniszyn



Jim Osten



Julius Rosenstein



Cover Painting:



Brom



Interior Artists:



Apollo Okamura



Kent Buries



Wayne Breaux Jr.



Ramon Perez Jr.



Kevin Long



John Zeleznik



Matthew Plog



Cover Logo Design:



Steve Edwards



Credits Page Logo:



Niklas Brandt Base on the RPG rules, characters,



Keylining:



Kevin Siembieda concepts and Megaverse® created by Kevin Siembieda.



Contents — The Rifter™ #2 — April, 1998



Page 6 — From Behind the Desk



of Kevin Siembieda



Publisher and author Kevin Siembieda chats about



The



Rifter,




keeping costs down, and "weird" rumors.



Page 8 — Thinking Big



Game Designer and consummate Game Master, Erick Wujcik,



talks about long-running RPG campaigns, citing personal



experiences, and offering suggestions and ideas for role-playing



expansive adventures.



Page 11 — Knights of the Dinner Table™



The indomitable Jolly Blackburn brings us more of the hilarious



KoDT misadventures. This time around



Bob takes a shot at



being the Game Master.



Hey don't forget, the KoDT comic book is available from



Kenzer & Company, 1935 S. Plum Grove Rd. Suite 194, Palatine,



IL 60067.



Page 13 — Palladium News, Info,



& Coming Attractions



Kevin Siembieda covers a few newsworthy items and offers



more data about



Heroes Unlimited, 2nd Edition, and coming attraction



for



Skraypers™, the two upcoming Rifts® Russia world



books, and other projects.



Page 18 — The Rifts® Connection



Author & Publisher, Kevin Siembieda, explains how timelines,



people, and occurrences in



Heroes Unlimited™, Beyond



the Supernatural™




and other Palladium world settings tie together



in



Rifts.



Page 19 — The Imp, Supernatural Rumormonger



William Muench gives us an interesting perspective on the



imp. Optional stuff suitable for



Rifts®, BTS™, Nightbane™,



Palladium Fantasy




or any Palladium game.



Page 21 — Palladium Pirates



Shawn Merrow offers some optional rules and suggestions



for playing pirates in the



Palladium Fantasy RPG® — plus



Hook, Line & Sinker™ adventures.



Page 27 — Hacking, Cyberjacking, &



Supernatural Data Theft Across the Megaverse®



Wayne Breaux Jr., gives us a tour de force presentation with



characters, rules, stats, information and fun stuff for use in



Rifts®, Heroes Unlimited™ 2nd Ed., Nightbane®, BTS™




and



across the Megaverse®. Official rules for optional use in any or



all of these games. Written & illustrated by Wayne Breaux Jr.



Page 55 — Wormwood™: The Blood Shaman



Steven Trustrum presents a delightfully gross and icky optional



O.C.C. and magic for a new Wormwood character he



calls, The Blood Shaman. Art by newcomer Matthew Plog.



Page 66 — Rifts®: Techno-Wizard Extravaganza



Mark Sumimoto and Jason Richards combine to offer over



30 pages of breathtaking insight and optional TW rules, TW



magic and devices!



Page 102 — Rifts®: The Siege Against Tolkeen



The next few chapters of David Haendler's



Rifts® saga.



Warning: This story has strong language and violence.



Page 107 — The Hammer of The Forge



The next chapter of James M.G. Cannon's



Phase World



story.



The Cover



The cover painting is entitled "Michael," by renowned artist,



Brom.




If I recall correctly, it has appeared elsewhere in some



collectible card game or another. We appreciate Brom joining in



The Rifter™




fun by letting us reprint this striking piece. We



thought is was moody and hinted at the magical elements of this



issue. The cover is copyright © Brom, all rights reserved.



Optional and Unofficial Rules & Source Material



Please note that the vast majority of rules, tables, characters,



equipment, adventures and stories are "optional" or "alternative"



things one can include in his campaign or enjoy reading.



They are not "official" to the main games or world settings. For



example, the story,



Siege Against Tolkeen, is likely to be very



different than Siembieda's "official" world book(s) when it



comes out. As for optional tables and adventures, if they sound



cool or fun, use them. If they sound funky or inappropriate for



your game, ignore them.



All the material in



The Rifter™ has been included for two



reasons: One, because we thought it was imaginative and fun,



and two, we thought it would stimulate your imagination with



fun stuff that you can use (if you want) or which might inspire



you to create your own wonders.



Palladium On-Line: www.palladiumbooks.com



Coming Next Issue...



• Marital Arts for



Ninjas & Superspies



• Mystic China™




and martial arts conversions for



Rifts®




plus new powers and optional tables.



• Material for the



Palladium Fantasy RPG






Magic & magic items for Palladium Fantasy &



other settings.



• The Next Chapter of the Hammer of the Forge.



• The continuing saga



of Siege Against Tolkeen.






More Knights of the Dinner Table.






More words of wisdom from Erick Wujcik.






The latest news and developments at Palladium.



• Source material for the Palladium Megaverse®.



• Fun and surprises.



A Scene From Skraypers™



^ TT>T: \ ,- KV,



X '. ' *• •' A ON ' -•



From Behind the Desk



of Kevin Siembieda



Welcome to the second issue of



The Rifter™. Within its



pages you'll find official and unofficial fan works for



Rifts®,



Ninjas & Superspies™, Heroes Unlimited™, Nightbane®



and lots of other good stuff. Somehow, this issue turned into the



special "magic" issue of



The Rifter™, with Techno-Wizardry,



Shaman magic, optional spells and magic items, Cyber-Jacking,



and other good stuff. Brom obliged us with a cool cover, and a



number of new artists (along with some of the usual guys) have



contributed to this issue. Personally, I think this issue is even



better than the first.



The first issue is a hit!



The first issue of



The Rifter is a bonafide hit, selling over



7,000 copies to date and making at least one distributor's top



selling list. Meanwhile, the number of subscribers is at around



600 and growing.



We honestly weren't sure how people would respond to the



idea of something as different as



The Rifter™, so we are thrilled



that it has met with such an overwhelmingly positive response.



We plan on having a lot of fun with this sourcebook series



and experiment with all kinds of fun and (hopefully) interesting



material in future issues. So read on, let us know what you



think, send in your ideas for possible publication and enjoy.



Some hot topics



I'd like to respond to a couple of things that seem to be on the



minds of Palladium fans.



How can Palladium produce a book the size and



quality of



The Rifter™ and keep the price at eight



dollars?



The answer is simple — because we want to and we aren't



making much money on it.



As Palladium advertised before issue one hit the shelves, we



are doing



The Rifter™ for "our fans" and "role-playing gamers"



in general. The Palladium staff and I were getting sick and



tired of talk about role-playing games dying (being replaced by



card games, computer games, etc. — which is ridiculous), as



well as comments from literally thousands of Palladium gamers



begging




us for a magazine, more products for our "entire" product



line, and groaning about no place (other than on-line) to



share their thoughts. We also noted that there didn't seem to be a



print forum that focused on the really "fun things" about roleplaying.



We tried to design



The Rifter™ to, at least attempt to,



satisfy all of these things, and it looks like we're meeting with



some measure of success.



Maryann and I made a conscious decision to deliberately



keep the price as low as we could without actually losing money



— $7.95 is that current price point.



One reason we can maintain this low price is that half the



book contains the contributions of fans, semi-professionals and



people like myself, Erick Wujcik, Wayne Breaux Jr., Wayne



Smith, and Jolly Blackburn willing to produce material for a



good cause at comparatively low pay. The cost for text and art is



about one third what Palladium normally pays for its regular



sourcebooks.



Another reason is that we have such a strong presence in the



role-playing market that



The Rifter™ is selling in large enough



quantities to keep it afloat. Generally the larger the press run,



the less expensive the printing cost too. Our strong sales and



high press runs is how Palladium can keep the cost of all its



RPG books lower than most of its competitors. Even so, we



need to sell approximately 7000 copies



of The Rifter™ to break



even. On the other hand, we anticipate sales to reach 10,000



copies or more per issue very quickly. As long as we cover our



expenses (including paying contributors) we're happy.



Killing Weird Rumors



Kevin Siembieda is blind!




Wrong!! Apparently, our press



release about my laser eye surgery got twisted, and a fan posted



on the Internet that he had heard I was blind. Sheesh. Here's



what happened.



On December 20, 1997,1 had "elective" laser surgery to correct



my nearsighted vision. I was tired of my heavy glasses and



poor vision. Having heard good things about laser surgery, I de



cided



to take the plunge. Unfortunately, I have sensitive eyes, so



I had a rather severe reaction and my eyes took a while to heal



well enough to work. I lost about six weeks of work because,



ironically, while my long-distance vision is vastly improved, my



near-vision was terrible. When my vision improved enough to



get back to work, I needed to put in shorter hours (5-6 instead of



my usual 10-16). This healing process delayed



Heroes Unlimited



™, the Old Kingdom (fantasy)




books, and some of our



other titles, but I'm pretty much up and running at about 90%



and hope to get back on schedule (or close to it). Hey,



The



Rifter




#2 came out on schedule, and as of this writing (March



12th), I'm busy finishing



Skraypers™ and working on Rifts®



Warlords of Russia.



As for my vision, ironically I now seem to be "far" sighted,



and will probably have to wear reading glasses when I'm writing,



editing and doing artwork. Oh well, it was worth a shot, and



I'm told my vision may still improve a bit as my eyes continue



to heal.



Here's a stupid rumor:



Kevin Siembieda has left Palladium



Books and is working at a plastics factory.




I don't think so.



This one originates from a press release that goes back to



April, 1996, when we announced that editor



Kevin Kirsten —



that's "Kirsten," not Siembieda — left Palladium. Just so you



guys know, I started Palladium, I own .the company, I love what



I do, and I have no intention of leaving or selling the company. I



plan on writing role-playing games till I drop dead at the ripe



old age of 210.



Palladium is being bought by Wizards of the Coast.



Wrong again. Like I said, we love what we do, we're good at it,



making money (sales are up) and we have no intention of selling



to WoTC or anybody else. In fact, WoTC has never even contacted



me about selling Palladium. The flip side to this rumor is



that Palladium is doing so well that "we" plan on buying other



companies, like



White Wolf, which isn't true either. I don't know



who comes up with this crazy stuff. By the way, I think



White



Wolf




will be around for quite sometime.



Palladium isn't going to Gen Con® because we hate



WoTC.




Palladium Books had a legal dispute with WoTC way



back in the early 1990s, but that matter was resolved (no I'm not



going to rehash it), and both companies have moved on. We are



not participating in Gen Con for a number of reasons, not the



least of which is that we don't believe it's worth our time and expense



(see news for more details).



Till next issue...



Kevin Siembieda



President, Palladium Books Inc.



Thinking Big



By Erick Wujcik



Last time around, on the subject of names and naming, I told



you about some of my early errors, about how I made the mistake



of "borrowing" names instead of inventing 'em. I mentioned



that the names I'd ripped off from books, movies,



television, etc., came back to bite me long after they were introduced



into my role-playing campaigns.



If you read that and thought, "no problem here, my campaigns



never really last," this column is for you.



This where I'd like to talk about thinking big, about stretching



your imagination, and how that can help you create a roleplaying



campaign that will last and last.



Bopping back to something else I mentioned back in the last



issue of



Rifter, you may recall that I described the "Circle of



Twelve Mages," and the "Circle of Twelve Artifacts," as stuff



from the first Dragonwright Campaign.



Remember, that campaign is now over twenty years old. The



same story, the same universe. Heck, we've even got some of



the same player characters. What is even more amazing is that



the Dragonwright Campaign was started by a pretty dumb Game



Master. As I look back on what kind of Game Master I was



twenty years ago, that guy looks pretty clueless. He (the old me)



had never run a role-playing campaign of any kind, wasn't all



that good a Game Master, and made a heck of a lot of mistakes.



Yet in one all-too-crucial way, I was a friggin' genius.



Because I thought big.



Thinking big was a lucky accident, the coincidence of starting



in on role-playing and Game Mastering right in the middle



of some pretty exciting computer science classes. Back in those



days (circa 1978), the latest thing in systems engineering was



something called "Top-Down Design." As applied to computer



programming, the idea was to conceptualize the problem, what



ever



it was, in the most general way possible, and then to break



it down into manageable pieces, one level of implementation at



a time. That way, in theory, you could start with a really tough



job (like designing a computer operating system), break it down



into pieces (usually something like input, processing and output),



and then break each of those pieces down into even smaller



pieces.



For a visual image of "Top-Down" try to picture an organizational



chart. You know, the kind with the little boxes and lines,



with the "President" at the top level, then the various "Vice



Presidents" at the second level, with progressively more little



boxes as you go down through the "tree." And at the bottom of



the chart would be the "Workers," the people who actually per



formed



useful functions.



In computer programming you can use pretty much the same



chart, the same visuals. However, instead of the boxes containing



the titles of people, each box would describe some function



of the computer program.



As I said, at the time I was pretty involved in this whole new



way of doing things, because of my computer programming



classes.



So it wasn't much of a leap for me to apply exactly the same



technique when it came to building my first big role-playing



campaign, the monster that came to be known as "Dragonwright."



Before the Big Ideas Hit



By the time I got around to designing the Dragonwright campaign,



I had already built three "dungeons."



The first one, "KiddieDungeon," (which was, by the way,



Kevin Siembieda's very first encounter with role-playing), wasn't



much more than a collection of rooms stocked with monsters



and treasures. Fun, in a limited way, but with nothing to keep



the player characters interested for more than a couple of hours



of killing and figuring out puzzles.



By the time I got to my third dungeon, "Napalm's," my designs



were considerably more complex. There were dozens of



levels, thousands of rooms, and whole categories of monsters.



Better yet, the dungeon actually made sense (well, not really,



but as much sense as you'll find in most fantasy novels). Different



areas of Napalm's were controlled by the worshippers of



competing gods, each charged with protecting various shrines,



treasure rooms and artifacts.



Also, Napalm's was enormous. Using the most detailed graph



paper I could find, and a selection of colored pencils to represent



all sorts of detail, I wrote up hundreds and hundreds of detailed



descriptions. Plus mazes, traps and countless interesting



magical items.



It was around that time that I figured out one big problem.



Napalm's was really too big.



Oh, it was fun. For about half a year people would send their



player characters tramping into Napalm's, happily mapping and



exploring, fighting and running, and grabbing all sorts of interesting



loot (those happy few who survived—this was back in



my days as a "killer" Game Master).



However, it started to become obvious, to me at least, that a



lot of the important stuff in Napalm's was never going to be discovered.



It took hours and hours for the players to fight their



way in, follow up on a few obscure clues, and then fight their



way out.



Also, after a solid six months of work, as the designer, I was



nowhere near finishing Napalm's. Worse, it seemed like the



more I built, the less chance there was that of any of the player



characters actually finding the cool stuff I was inventing.



In other words, Napalm's wasn't all that much fun.



It was around this time that I had my epiphany.



Why, I thought to myself, spend all this time designing dungeon



levels, forcing the players to wander around for hours,



when I could just put the interesting stuff right in front of them?



My favorite authors didn't waste pages and pages describing



the boring parts. No, they'd just say something like "after two



weeks of searching," or "he crawled for hours," and then jump



right into the good stuff. Why couldn't I do the same thing?



Instead of forcing the players to march through hallway after



hallway, seeking the one real treasure room among the dozens



of fakes, I could just skip ahead. Better yet, instead of drawing



all those dozens of rooms, I could just concentrate on the fun



part, just on designing the one room.



Whew! What a relief!



Right away I started moving stuff around in Napalm's. Cool



stuff from deep inside was moved right into the path of the oncoming



player characters.



Suddenly the role-playing got a lot more interesting, and a lot



more fun. Plus, it was easier for me...



Thinking Big for the First Time



Napalm's, as I've described it, and in many other ways, was a



beautiful learning experience. By trial and error I'd managed to



figure out a lot of what made role-playing interesting, and also



what could make it deadly dull.



I had learned that people liked following a chain of events,



that they were more involved in the experience of the role



playing



if they felt like every detail might be part of a bigger



picture. In my own particular version of a fantasy world, that



meant understanding the politics behind different gods and the



religions that worship them (you thought it was a coincidence



that I wrote the Gods section



of Dragons & Gods?).



However, trying to work out all the details in a campaign, in



advance, was looking to be a pretty futile exercise.



After all, what was the point of designing a really cool room



if no one was likely to find it? Wouldn't it be better to just design



the stuff that was right in front of the player characters?



That was it. That was the trick.



I needed to think big, but I also needed to avoid wasting time



on details that weren't important.



Which brought me back to the scheduling part of the philosophy



of Top-Down.



You see, it's the job of a systems analyst to break apart a big



problem, to separate it into manageable chunks, and then to assign



the different parts of the problem to different computer programmers.



Big projects usually require time scheduling as well,



so that different parts are tackled at different times in the development



schedule.



That way of looking at things can be translated into roleplaying



terms.



Think of the player character group as a set of problem solvers.



Whatever the point of the overall role-playing campaign, it's



up to the player characters to meet the challenge, and to solve



the problem.



Obviously, the player characters aren't going to be able to



solve everything at once, no more than a computer programmer



can write an entire operating system in one sitting. They need to



tackle the problem one step at a time.



In the case of the Dragonwright Campaign, in order to succeed,



the player characters had to collect all the scattered objects



that made up the "Circle of Twelve Artifacts."



Now, since I was thinking big, back when I first created the



Dragonwright Campaign, I already knew the purpose of the Circle



of Twelve Artifacts (sorry, I can't include that information



here, since my players haven't figured it out yet). Back then I



didn't even know what the artifacts looked like, what their



names might be, or much of anything else.



I just knew that there would have to be a Circle of Twelve



Artifacts, that there would be twelve of'em (duh!), and that they



had all be scattered, hidden, and locked away, thousands of



years before the player characters came on the scene.



Since each of the twelve artifacts was of major importance, I



figured I'd have to work up, basically, twelve different "quests."



Yes, I had to work up the first one, in detail, pretty carefully, but



the others could definitely wait.



So, as the campaign progressed, I gradually filled in more



and more of the particulars. About a year after we started, the



group found a structure where all of the twelve artifacts were



named and pictured, but that gave me a full year to figure out



each of the names. Eventually, over the years, all of the twelve



were discovered, and all fell into the hands of the player characters.



This was interesting for the player characters (imagine knowing



about a mystic item for ten years, knowing its name, its appearance,



and something about what it can do, and then, finally,



finally, having the opportunity to get your hands on that very



item!).



Even more important, for me as a Game Master, the Top-



Down approach gave me a framework, a blueprint upon which I



could build a campaign. A campaign that would prove to last for



decades.



Thinking Big with Maps



Let's take worlds as an example.



Say you've decided to run a campaign where, for starters anyway,



the player characters are going to be dealing with a little



town.



You know the kind of place. In



Rifts it would be a place with



a few buildings, a couple of dozen scruffy inhabitants, maybe



built on the ruins of an old intersection, where there used to be



gas stations, strip malls, and maybe an old motel.



No big deal, just a place where the characters can rest up,



have a couple of harmless encounters, maybe set up a bar fight.



Probably, if you're like most Game Masters, you know the



town is not all that important. Certainly not worth putting in a



lot of work.



After all, knowing the way



Rifts player characters move



around, they'll be there only a short time, they'll squash the



place flat, and then they'll be off somewhere else, never to return.



Why waste time and effort on such a nowhere place?



Exactly because the player characters are going to be moving



around. Because whatever happens in this little town is really



only a set-up for the next big encounter.



One approach would be to start mapping with the town at the



center of the map. You could figure out that the Coalition is this



way, and the Federation of Magic is over yonder, and there's a



nasty Rift off to the south, and so on...



Then, as the group moves around, you can just fill in the necessary



details, always adding to your map in little ways.



Which is actually a good approach.



It's just easier, and more effective, to start out with a big map



in the first place.



Start with a world map (don't worry, it's mostly going to be



blank). Now sketch in, in rough fashion, the big areas you know



you're going want to include in your campaign. The Coalition,



Atlantis, etc.



Now focus on the general area where you want to put your



little town. Figure out what's in the general area. Add in some



interesting details like rivers or mountains. As you get closer to



the target area, to the exact location for the town, get more and



more specific.



See the difference?



Yes, you can still extend your map, still fill it in as the player



characters wander around. The difference is, starting with the



big picture, with the big idea, is that you've got a map that is



more manageable. It's clear, right from the start, how everything



fits together.



In the long run, starting with a global map, with a world map,



even if you have very little of it figured out, makes for a better



campaign.



Thinking Cosmic Big



So far, so good. If you've paid attention up to this point, you



probably realize that designing a world is, in a lot of ways, easier



than designing one village at a time, one encounter at a time.



Thinking big, at least when it comes to worlds, makes things



easier for the Game Master.



Likewise, it makes sense to try to think big in time as well as



space. That by building an interesting past, you also leave yourself



open for some room to design a complex and interesting



campaign.



Now prepare to really let loose.



The idea is to give your imagination full reign, full scope. To



kick on your brain's afterburners, and really think big.



Bigger than worlds, bigger than solar systems, bigger than



galaxies. Universe big. Cosmic big.



Cosmology big.



According to my big dictionary, cosmology is the branch of



science that deals with the philosophy of the origin and structure



of the universe, which includes such minutia as the nature of



time and space, the existence of god (or gods), and even stuff



like causality (which came first, the chicken or the egg?).



For me, this is the real pay-off of role-playing, and the real



kick I get out of Game Mastering. In just about any other creative



endeavor, there are limits, boundaries (and budgetary constraints).



Not so in our little hobby.



You have the power to decide, in your own pocket universe,



exactly how creation happened. Who and what are the gods.



You get to decide all the big questions.



Better yet, your universe can consist of many universes. Alternate



dimensions (Rifts!), different time lines, realities based



on whatever rules you wish to impose or create.



The bigger you think, the better.



10



jnights of the




Binner By Jolly R. Blackburn



LET ME GET THIS STRAIGHT.' YOU GUYS WANT TO LEAP



FROM THE LEDGE ON TO THE



SPINY GUTTER



WORM'S




BACK?? THAT'S A DROP OF ABOUT 350 FEET.



YOU PO REALIZE THAT? AND YOU PO REALIZE WHY



THEY CALL THEM



SPIKY GUTTER WORMS. RIGHT?



YOU GOT WAX NYER EARS?



FOR THE LAST TIME.



rMLEAPNG FROM THE LEDGE ON



THE WORM'S BACK.'.' I GOT A DAGGER



M EACH HAND AND TM GONG TO SDK



THEM TO THE HILT ON EACH SDE OF



HIS FREAKIN NECK//



AND I'M RIGHT



BEHIND HIM. WE'RE



GONNA DROP THAT



VARMNT BEFORE



HE CRAWLS BACK



NTO HIS HOLE.'.'



ORITHNKItLBE



sirruG THIS ONE



OUT.B.AI,UH,THNK



THE BOYS HAVE IT



UNDER CONTROL



UH...YEAR..I THINK



I'LL HANG BACK



WITHSARA-IDONT



THNK THEY NEED ME



ON THIS ONE EITHER.



WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU GUYS??



YOU LOSE YER



FIGHTING SPIRIT?




HUH?? YA GONNA COWER



LIKE A COUPLE OF



CURLS U1Z OF SOME WORM??



WELL DONT EXPECT ANY EXPERIENCE POINTS



OR TREASURE WHEN ITS ALL SAD AND DONE.



YOV NEAR??




LOUSY SHIRKERS/.'



SORRY DAVE, SNCE THE WORM WAS MOVIIG. BY THE TIME YOU



PROP 550



FEET,




YOU MISS THE CREATURE. YOU ARE INSTANTLY TRANSFORMED



NTO



A GOO SPOT ON THE HARP PAVEMENT.'.'.'



CHEER UP DAVE. AT LEAST



YOU LEFT YOUR MARK



ON THE WORLD BEFORE YOU



CASHED II. (SNICKER)



BOB YOU MANAGED TO LAND ON THE



SPINY GUTTER



WORM




AND ARE IMPALEP BY SEVERAL



DOZEN



POISONEP SPINES. EACH SPINE IS



APPROXIMATELY TWO FEET IN LENGTH AND ARE



SHARP ENOUGH TO WARRANT A »5 TO DAMAGE RATING.



THE WORM IS



STARTUP WHEN YOU DROP ON IT AND IMMEDIATELY



WITHDRAWS INTO ITS NOU




YOUR PEAP BOPY,



AFFIXED TO THE WORM'S BACK BY ITS



BARBEP-SPIKES, IS



SMEAREP




LKE GUACAMOLE ALONG THE HOLE'S SURFACE



I'M SICK OF THIS




CRAP/.' YOU'RE A KILLER



GM.'.' THAT'S WHAT YOU ARE YOU GET YOUR JOLLIES



KILLNG OFF PLAYER CHARACTERS AND FUDGNG DICE ROLLS



IN YOUR FAVOR. YOU'RE NOT FIT TO SIT BEHND THAT



SCREEN.



INCOMPETENCE// THAT'S WHAT IT IS//



INCOMPETENCE??



YOU THINK YOU CAN DO



BETTER??



GIVE HIM BOTH BARRELS.



BOB/.'HE'S BEEN OUT TO KILL



ELRAVAGERFROMTHE



DAY I ROLLED HIM UP.



WELL YOU GOT IT,



BOBBY BOY///



NEXT WEEK YOU CAN RUN THE GAME



HUN?? DONT THINK



I WONT "GUI I WILL I WM.U



OH It) REALLY LOVE TO SEE



THAT. I REALLY WOULD.



11



THE FOLLOWING




ivttk



OKAY THIS POOR OPENS



UPTOREVEALAD



FOOT BY CFOOT BOOM.



IfS EMPTY EXCEPT



FOR A SHOE BOX



LAYNGINTHEMDDLE



OF THE FLOOR.



SHOE BOX HUH? I GUESS



I'LL POKE IT WITH MY



TEK FOOT POLE.'.'



NO GOOD.'/YOU CANT



REACH IT WITH THE POLE.



YOU'RE GOMNA HAVE TO



EWTER




THE ROOM.



WAITAMNUTE.IT'SA



TEN FOOT POLE AND THE



ROOM IS TEN BY TEN.'.'/



\



IT CAN'T BEMORE



THAN FIVE FEET TO



THEMDDLEOFTHE



ROOM. WHAT'S UP



WITH THAT?



I'M BEGINNING TO



REALIZE WHY YOU



FLUNKED



GEOMETRY BOB.



OKAY I LEAK MTO THE ROOM REAU Y FAR



WITHOUT ACTUALLY SETTNG FOOT IN IT. I'M



GONNA POKE THE SHOE BOX WITH THE POLE.



NOPE. SORRY. NO GOOD. STILL CAN'T



REACH IT. LOOKS LIKE YOU'RE GONNA



HAVE TO ENTER THE ROOM.



I'LL TRY AND LASSO



THE BOX WITH MY



ROPE AND DRAG IT



TOWARD THE DOOR



SORRY DAVE. THE



DOORWAY IS TOO



NARROW FOR YOU TO



ADEQUATELY TWIRL



YOUR LASSO.



WELL. IT'S OBVIOUS YOU'RE RIGHT. THE HELL



OH...YEAH...I..UH...GAVE



THE WRONG DIMENSIONS



ON THAT ROOM. ITS



ACTUALLY UH....IOO



FEET BY 100 FEET.



HE WANTS US TO



ENTER THE ROOM.



I SMELL A TRAP.



WITH IT. LET'S IGNORE



THE STUPID SHOE



BOX AND MOVE ON.



I AGREE. WE CAN



ALWAYS CHECK IT



OUT LATER.



YEAH. MAKES



SENSE TO ME



YOU'RE GIVNG UP THAT EASILY?? C'MON.



QUIT FOOLING AROUND AND JUST PICK UP



THE DAM W BOX'.' ALRIGHT??



UH (KNOT ON YER LIFE,



BUD.'I WOULDN'T TOUCH



THAT BOX WITH A...WITH



A...TEN FOOT POLE



YEAH. WE'RE MOVING



ON DOWN THE HALL.



TEN MINUTES LATER.



OKAY AS YOU TURN THE CORNER IN THE HALL WAY YOU ALMOST RUN OVER A



FRIENDLY LOOKING DWARF HOLDNG A SNOE BOX HE SMILES WHEN HE



SEES YOU AND SAYS, 'GREETING STRANGERS, PLEASE ACCEPT THIS GIFT."



ANOTHER SHOE BOX HUH?



WE RESPECTFULLY DECLNE



TO ACCEPT THE GIFT AND



BYPASS THE DWARF.



NICE TRY, BOB.'.'



BUT WE'RE NOT



FALLNGFORIT.



YOU SEE A SMALL



ORDNARYLOOKNGBOX



LAYNG ON THE STEPS



AT YOUR FEET.



ORDINARY LOOKING



BOX HUH? HOW



BIG IS IT??



HOWBIG?lfS



JUST A SMALLISH



BOX NOTHING AT



ALL UNUSUAL



ABOUT IT.



IS IT THE



SIZE OF A



SNOE



BOX??



UH...ER..I



GUESS YOU



COULD SAY



IfS ROUGHLY



THE SAME



SIZE.



THIS FREAKN



1 SHOE



BOX IS LIKE A MAGNET



THISIS-STARTNTO



WEIRD ME OUT MAN



OKAY, YOU HEAR A FAWT SCRAPNG



SOUND COMING FROM BEHIND YOU.



WHEN YOU TURN TO SEE WHAT IT IS,



YOU OBSERVE A SMALL SNOE BOX



NCHNG ITS WAY TOWARDS YOU



IDONT THINK HE'S GOING TO



LET IT GO UNTIL ONE OF US



OPENS THAT BOX.



NO WAY IN HELL TM OPENNG



THAT BOX DUDE I'LL THROW



MY BACKPACK AT IT TO SLOW



IT DOWN AND THEN I'M RUNNING



N THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION.



TALK ABOUT BEING



BOXED H



Knights of the Dinner Table™ © Copyright 1998 KenzerCo, All Rights Reserved • Send story ideas to JollyRB@aol.com or KODT, 1003 Monroe Pike, Marion IN 46953



12



Palladium News, Info,



& Coming Attractions



By Kevin Siembieda (the guy in the know)



News



Palladium Books is Hot!



Palladium's sales are up more than 40% compared to the



same time last year! But that's not all.



T.D. Imports




(one of our top distributors) publishes an industry



newsletter that goes to all their clients. Their January issue



included the 1997 "Year in Review." Under T.D.'s



Top 10



Selling "New" Role-Playing Games — Rifts®




products took



six (6)




of the top ten positions! Rifts® Lone Star, New West™



and



Coalition Navy™ were numbers 1, 2, and 3 respectively.



Rifts Spirit West™, Psyscape™




and Federation of Magic™



(which didn't even ship till December!) were numbers 5, 6, and



7. And get this, T.D.'s February report lists



The Rifter #1™ as



their number one selling "new RPG product" for the month of



January!!



You guys and gals are the ones who make it all possible, and



get our heartfelt appreciation's. Thanks!! Hey, tell ya what, you



keep buying Palladium products by the truckload, and we'll



promise to keep producing big, beautiful and fun RPG books at



reasonable prices. Deal?



Palladium will not



Exhibit at Gen Con® '98



Before the rumors and innuendo start to fly, we wanted to announce



that Palladium will



not be attending Gen Con '98. There



are just too many unknown and disturbing elements — last



year's low attendance (and we fear attendance will be just as low



this year), lack of early promotion, the new convention site (if it



gets built in time), Andon as the "new" convention organizers,



Wizards of the Coast (WoTC) as the "new" owners, new policies



and procedures, and a significant increase in the cost of Exhibitor



booths — approximately 36% across the board. In my



opinion, WoTC/Andon are asking Exhibitors (and we suspect,



fans) to pay more for less.



As you can see by the number of products we are producing



and how well they are selling, Palladium is not skipping Gen



Con because of money problems. A company Palladium's size



can easily afford the exhibitor table increase. Furthermore, Palladium



typically makes a good profit above our overall convention



expenses, so the show, increase and all, should be profitable



for us. However, we are deeply concerned by what the price in-



13



crease does to the rest of the role-playing game community and



the signal it is sending to the industry. We fear it especially



hurts the small companies.



A handful of small RPG companies have already announced



they won't be attending (not to mention some bigger folks like



Steve Jackson Games, R.Talsorian, Dream Pod Nine, Phage



Press




and others). Each has their own reason for not attending



and made their decision independent of one another.



Palladium suspects many small and start-up companies will



not be able to attend because it is too costly for them ($950 for



one table is a bit much for them). We find this tragically ironic,



considering just four or five years ago WoTC was one of those



little companies struggling to stay afloat and introduce their new



game,



Magic The Gathering, on the market.



Andon has already begun spin-control, noting that those of us



who do not attend Gen Con are foolish and only make space for



the alleged throngs of companies beating down their door to



take our places. Sadly, we see this as further evidence that



WoTC/Andon does not really care about the RPG industry or



who might get hurt by their price hikes, as long as they sell "X"



number of Exhibitor booths/tables.



We also find it disturbing that



Palladium Books and Steve



Jackson Games,




who announced in January that they will not



be attending Gen Con '98, are still



listed on the Andon Web Site



as Exhibitors. Under the list, Andon has a paragraph stating that



the exhibitor list is "tentative," and based on those who attended



in 1997. However, Andon has known Palladium is definitely



NOT




going to exhibit since January. You'd think the page



should have been updated by now, March 12, 1998. Why hasn't



it? Draw your own conclusions, but don't be fooled. Palladium



Books will



not be attending Gen Con '98.



All of this leaves a bad taste in Palladium's mouth and we



won't be party to it.



This is not part of some organized boycott against Gen Con,



WoTC, or Andon. The decision that



Palladium Books would



not attend was entirely our own. Whether other companies exhibit



or not, has no bearing on Palladium's decision.



We just wanted to let our fans know in advance. This is only



the second Gen Con Palladium has missed since 1982, and we



probably won't be exhibiting in 1999 either.



We know this news will disappoint many of our fans. Sorry,



but this is something we felt we had to do. Maybe we'll make



some special offer and/or have some special event through



The



Rifter




  1. 3 and Palladium's Web Page/Internet. We're kicking



around some ideas.



To those who plan on attending the show, we sincerely hope



you have a wonderful time.



Palladium's Web Site



For the latest news, comments, and fun, straight from Palladium,



check out our Web Site at



www.palladiumbooks.com



—man'aged by V.P. Maryann Siembieda. Join the 11,000+ other



gamers who use our site regularly.



Coming Attractions



Heroes Unlimited



— 352 pages for only $24.95



The Palladium staff wondered if I lost my mind when I an



nounced



that



Heroes Unlimited™, 2nd Ed. would be 352



pages. That's 100 pages bigger than the previous edition!



Actually, there were moments when "I" wondered myself. It



was a hell of a lot of work, put us behind schedule, and the guys



pointed out that this is the equivalent of three 120 page books,



which most other RPG companies would sell for $20.00 each —



a $60 value that Palladium is only charging $24.95 for!



"Heck, why not?" I said. We all wanted to make



Heroes Unlimited






bigger and better than ever before. It has always been



one of my favorite RPGs and I wanted the Second Edition to be



even more special and inclusive. The guys still thought I was



crazy, but agreed it was a cool thing to do if we could afford it.



Okay, maybe I got carried away, but you guys will love it!



Great new artwork, cool ideas, and zillions of possibilities.



Over 100 super abilities, with dozens and dozens of subpowers.



Psionic abilities, magic spells, enchanted weapons and



objects that can transform an ordinary Joe into a superhuman or



sorcerer. Cyborgs, Robots, and a lot more, like ...



The Mega-Hero (optional) is one of the new additions, along



with some mega-vulnerabilities. It was included as a direct response



to years of fan requests. I think it works well.



Playing characters with a history or legacy. How would one



follow in his father's (uncle, brother, etc.) footsteps. Does he



carry on the name and costume or assume a new identity? Does



he have a fabulous reputation to live up to, or one to live down?



These are just some of the things one must consider when following



a legacy.



Revamped, and in some cases, souped-up Power Categories



like Physical and Special Training (including the new



Analytical



Genius).



Easily adaptable




to Rifts®, directly compatible with Ninjas



& Superspies®, Ninja Turtles®, Beyond the Supernatural



™, Nightbane®




and even the Palladium Fantasy RPG.



Heroes Unlimited™ 2nd Edition is in the stores now!




It



shipped on March 30th and should have hit store shelves approximately



two weeks before



The Rifter™ #2. We printed



plenty, and will make certain it doesn't fall out of print any time



soon, so the book is in stock and available from distributors.



Three easy ways to tell the difference between



Second



Edition




and First:



1. The 1st edition cover is predominantly blue with a big



logo across the top, while the



Second Edition is predominantly



white and the logo is formed into a circular pattern that forms



the "shield" of the central figure.



2.



Second Edition is 100 pages bigger — 352 vs. 248 pages!



3. The new cover says "Second Edition."



Three new super-supplements




are scheduled to come out in



1998. Plus, some great stuff by Erick Wujcik that couldn't get



squeezed in and may be expanded into a complete



Heroes Unlimited






sourcebook.



In case you can't tell, I'm pretty excited about it. If you like



comic books and playing superhumans, you gotta check it put.



Ninja Turtles® RPG, 2nd Edition •



Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles® & "More" Strangeness



should be released in May or June, and it ain't for little kids.



It can function as a



stand alone role-playing game or as a



useful



sourcebook for Heroes Unlimited™, 2nd Ed.



TMNT & "More" Strangeness




offers stats for lots of mutant



animals (I think a hundred or so), a bunch of dangerous villains



suitable for any superhero setting, and adventures.



Although the Ninja Turtles are the inspiration (and can be loads



of fun to play), this RPG presents the foundation for an under



ground



world of mutant animal heroes, villains and adventure.



Collector's value




is always a factor with this legendary



comic book based property. The first edition,



TMNT & Other



Strangeness,




is one of the best selling RPGs of all time (nearly



200,000 copies sold), and the



Ninja Turtles were (still are) a



phenomenon that helped to launched the independent comic



book industry, created one of the most popular line of action figures



in 30 years, and has a lot of history and value.



However, for me, the bottom line for the



TMNT RPG is that



it's fun and interesting. Which it is.



• Great Simon Bisley cover painting.



• New interior artwork by Paolo Parente and others.



• Written by Erick Wujcik with new material by Siembieda.



$12.95 — 128 pages. May or June release.



14



'-\



95



Rifts® Dimension Book Four:



Skraypers™



Can you help save a world?



The whole book is an adventure setting around the invasion



and occupation of a futuristic, Earth-like world of superhumans



by bloodthirsty aliens. The adventure is the backbone of the



book —to save the world from the occupying alien forces.



Ah, but the situation is complicated by the fact that the villainous



alien invaders are powerful, evil and maniacal, that



they've held the planet for several decades (so they are firmly



entrenched), and some of the old supervillains and traitorous superbeings



fight on the side of the invaders! Worse, many of the



enslaved people feel beaten and have given up hope. It's the



player characters who must work to rekindle that hope and



breathe life into revolution!



The Tarlok invaders, and their minions, are villains you'll



love to hate.



The freedom fighters are powerful and a wee bit desper



ate,



so it's no-holds-barred action and adventure.



The book is designed to be used as an adventure setting



and sourcebook suitable for use with Heroes Unlimited™



and Rifts®.



As



a "Rifts®" Dimension Book™, there is a section on



linking the Tarlok and their slaves to Phase World™, the



Splugorth™ and Rifts Earth.



Skraypers™ nears completion and should be in the



stores the end of April or early May. I think it will be



hot\



The Zeleznik artwork, characters and concepts are incredible,



wild and beautiful stuff.



$16.95 —160 pages.



15



The Old Kingdom Books



Sourcebooks for Palladium Fantasy



John Zeleznik is working on one cover and Brom has been



lined up for the other. Some initial interior art has also been assigned.



With a little luck,



Old Kingdom Mountains will be out



in May or June and



Old Kingdom Lowlands in June or July.



Epic fantasy adventure and world information with scores of



towns and villages, historical background, current political un



rest,



monsters and trouble. Keep an eye out for 'em, you won't



be disappointed.



The RPG Gamer's Bible



Palladium Books is currently working with author



Sean Patrick



Fannon




and Prima Publishing to secure the rights to Fannon's



Fantasy Role-Playing Gamer's Bible.




The original book



was a well written and entertaining look at role-playing games



past and present, with a brief history and current trends. Palla



dium's



revised edition will include the changes over the last few



years, new products and companies and other notable material



on the RPG Industry. The



Role-Playing Gamer's Bible is intended



to be a fun and useful reference for all role-players and



hobbyists. If all goes well, the updated version could hit store



shelves as early as this summer, but is more likely to make its



debut this fall.



Rifts® Russia



While finishing



Skraypers™, I've already begun working on



Rifts® Warlords of Russia™




and its companion book, The



Magic of Russia™.




These are going to be another fun pair of



sourcebooks.



The Warlords are barbaric megalomaniacs with a lust for



power. Their main strength comes from their legions of cyborg



warriors and raw power.



Warlords of Russia™




will focus on establishing the Russian



world setting and on the Warlords, their minions, weapons, and



resources. $20.95 — 224 pages. Written by Siembieda and



Krueger. Art by Perez, Breaux, Johnson, and Buries.



The Magic of Russia™




will focus on D-Bees, Monsters, supernatural



beings, magic and myth. $16.95 — 160 pages. Written



by Siembieda and Krueger. Art by Perez, Breaux, Johnson,



and Buries.



Warlords



of Russia Preview



A few hints and excerpts from



Warlords of Russia™



A Warlord "Camp" is effectively a mobile military unit composed



of supporters who have pledged allegiance to one particular



Warlord. In this case, a Camp ranges from 20,000 to 120,000



individuals and includes everyone from camp followers and



hardened combat troops to slaves (if any). The center of power



at these "Camps" are the Cyborg Shocktroops and horsemen.



The word "Camp" is also used to describe or encapsulate attitudes



and opinions,



"That's the Romanov's for you. You know



what that Camp is like!"



In some ways, a Camp is like an extended family, its members



watching out for one another, sharing joys and sorrows,



laughter and resentments, as well as the horrors and spoils of



battle.



These people are predators. Little more than ravaging bar



barians



who prey on the enemies of their Warlord master, as



well as upon strangers, D-Bees and others for their living. They



tend to live by the age-old system of conquest and tribute. In



each Warlord's



Spheres of Influence, they and their "camps" are



the undisputed rulers. The (usually) undisputed local power by



which smaller clans, farmers, peasants and foreigners must



abide. Resistance is often met with swift and brutal containment.



The indigenous population of the lands claimed by a Warlord



and dominated by a particular "Camp," are often viewed as low-



16



lifes and cattle forced to feed and serve the Warlord and his



minions through a tribute system of resources, rubles and labor.



These "subjects" are the Warlord's possessions, along with the



land and resources of the region, but are not part of the Warlord's



"Camp."



Although it may at first appear that the Warlords of western



Russia control vast areas of land and all their resources, this is



misleading. There is no denying they are a major influence in



the region, and they do control major trade routes, villages,



other important border locations, and resources. They maintain



strong lines of communication and enforce their will through intimidation



and military power. However, take a look at the vast



land area they "dominate," and it becomes clear that there is no



way most of this land can be patrolled, policed or contained by



them or anybody.



A "Sphere of Influence" (the territory a Warlord claims as his



domain) might be bettor equated to the territory held by a predatory



animal. In this case, the wolf pack may be the most apt



analogy for the Camps, and other minions of the Warlord are



like the lesser wolves in the pack. The animal sees this land as



its own and takes from it what it needs to survive. The wolfish



predator will defend his territory from invading predators and



outsiders. The leader will fight all who dare to challenge his rule



and kill any who threaten his life. The pack (or Camp as the



case may be) chases away or slays trespassers and invaders.



Likewise, they prey on the cattle-like herd animals (the indigenous



peasants) and any who succumb to weakness are food or



fodder for their slavering jaws.



Like the wolf pack, the various Camps and clans who serve



as the military and enforcers of the Warlord prey upon those



weaker than they, but seldom kill wantonly or take more than



they need, for without the herds (indigenous peasants) to feed



upon, the wolves suffer and starve. Also like the wolf pack, the



Camps travel their "territory" on a regular circuit. Thus, they are



seldom at any one place for more than a month, and are constantly



traveling in order to survey their domain. This means



there is no way of knowing where everything is at once, and



very little idea of what may be happening at locations out of



sight and out of reach — of course retribution for actions



deemed disloyal or dangerous to the Camp, may be terrible.



"Setting examples" is a common tactic to keep people under



their control. This means the control and enforcement domination



of the Warlords and their Camp is scattered and sporadic. It



also means that the peoples' cooperation, respect, and abidance



of the Warlords' laws can be greatly different when members of



a Warlord's camp are not present. Many things go on behind the



Warlords' backs when their minions are away.



Highlights Include:



• History, background data and stats on the Warlords,



their key henchmen, and their armies. Plus, their goals,



enemies and rivalries.



• Warlord Cyborgs, weapons and equipment.



• World information, maps, and ties to the New German



Republic and the demon-ridden wastelands of China.



• Lots of adventure ideas.



• 224 pages — $20.95



• Scheduled for a late May release. The



Magic of Russia



follows in June.



17



The Rifts'



Connection



Crossing Realities, Timelines



& Infinite Possibilities



By Kevin Siembieda



For years now, there have been hints and links in the



Rifts®



RPG




(loosely) connecting it to other timelines in other Palladium



role-playing games. Many a fan has questioned or argued



which of the other Palladium RPGs are "officially" linked to



Rifts, and even more hotly debated, which one of the modern



games represent the pre-Cataclysmic Earth



of Rifts' past.



Beyond the Supernatural®




gets attention because of Victor



Lazlo's




strong, historical role in Rifts®, particularly in regard to



Erin Tarn (she meets Victor in



Rifts® Africa) and the North



American Cities of Lazlo and New Lazlo which are named after



him.



Erin Tarn is one of thousands of rogue scholars, philosophers



and practitioners of magic on Rifts Earth who hold Victor



Lazlo in great esteem as a 20th Century "visionary." He is heralded



for his enlightened theories concerning ley lines, magic



and the existence of the supernatural. Victor Lazlo was virtually



a lone voice and something of a martyr in the 20th Century, because



he tried to tell people that "magic and the supernatural"



were real. That magic was drawn from an invisible source of energy



that permeated the Earth. An energy he dubbed Potential



Psychic Energy (P.P.E.). Lazlo insisted that with the proper



training and focus, one could draw on this mysterious energy in



innumerable ways, using nothing more than one's willpower and



mind to create magical (for lack of a better description) effects.



Victor Lazlo recognized weak (for his world and time period)



lines, or streams, of energy known to mystics as



ley lines. Lines



of magical energy/P.P.E. the Chinese Geomancers —practitioners



of Feng-Shui — had recognized and utilized for thousands



of years, even into the 21st Century. They called these lines of



energy "Dragon Veins" or "Dragon Tracks," and referred to the



energy as both a source of positive and negative "Chi." A force



that could be manipulated or corrupted by man.



Victor Lazlo also identified "places of magic," mystical hot



spots, reputed throughout the ages as places of healing, spirits,



hauntings, demons, evil, good, strange occurrences and even as



gateways to heaven, hell and the Faerie Realm. His research revealed



that 95.6 percent of these places were located where ley



lines either crisscrossed and formed a junction



(ley line nexus)



or where a network of powerful ley lines formed a giant triangle



with nexus points in each of the three comers. The Bermuda



Triangle (Devil's Sea on Rifts Earth) is the most famous and unpredictable



of these triangulations of mystic energy.



The insightful Victor Lazlo noted that these nexus points



ebbed and flowed, like an ocean tide, in predictable waves based



on the position of the moon, planets and certain times of the



year. The majority of strange, horrifying and wondrous occurrences



and disappearances around ley lines coincided with these



periods of increased "flow," as did many mystical, druidic, and



holy ceremonies. However, many of these strange occurrences



and reports of ghosts, faeries, demons, monsters and magic occurred



without human intervention. This led Victor Lazlo to



theorize that when the energy rose, and conditions were just



right, it could trigger a temporary opening to an alien world or



dimension — portals to the supernatural. He speculated that supernatural



beings (creatures the ancient people called "ghosts,



demons, and faeries") were able to enter our world while these



dimensional portals were opened (which in his realm of existence,



was typically for short periods of a few minutes). He further



speculated that these supernatural beings were attracted to



the mystic energy of the ley lines and could, perhaps, sense the



rise in energy and wait for portals to open. These alien creatures



regarded humans as food and playthings, and were, in effect,



evil and murderous predators. Thus, Lazlo explained that supernatural



possession, ghosts and other supernatural and magical



claims — scoffed at and ignored by the authorities and science



—were often real and extremely dangerous. He tried to teach



awareness, pointing out that one can not protect against, counter



or fight something he does not understand, or refuses to believe



in. Although a small number of people came to believe his theories,



Victor Lazlo was branded a deranged charlatan. The scientific



community mocked and chastised him, blatantly ignoring



his unscientific evidence and "fraud." A laughing stock, Victor



Lazlo's studies, books and seminars were disregarded by both



science and the public as unscientific hogwash — the nonsensical,



fictional ramblings of a New Age con-artist. Despite this,



Lazlo retained his dignity and continued his crusade. Three of



his eight books became best sellers. Small groups and thousands



of individuals scattered around the world (often people touched



by the unexplained), accepted his studies as real and, just before



his disappearance, Victor Lazlo founded an investigative organi



zation



that would become known as the Lazlo Agency.



As players of



Beyond the Supernatural™ (to be released as



a revised and expanded Second Edition in 1999) and



Rifts® already



know, most of Victor Lazlo's theories have proven to be



correct. The eruption of the ley lines and the Coming of the



Rifts and the new era of magic and the supernatural horrors that



came with it, have proven beyond any shadow of a doubt that



Lazlo's theories were correct. His books and teachings are



known to the people



of Rifts Earth and Victor Lazlo is respected



as one of the greatest minds of the 20th Century.



The basic common denominators concerning the supernatural,



magic, ley lines, P.P.E., and the presence of a 20th Century



"Victor Lazlo" would seem strong evidence that the time before



the Great Cataclysm is drawn from the



Beyond the Supernatural



™ RPG.



18



So how can we explain the book,



Mutants in Orbit™ and



other elements, including Archie-3 and the existence of corporations



such as



Cyberworks and the KLS Corporation drawn from



the pages



of Heroes Unlimited™. For that matter, might not the



Pre-Rifts Golden Age of Science, where every nation of Rifts



Earth rushed feverously to create superhumans augmented and



mutated through bionics, M.O.M. conversion, chemical and genetic



experimentation, etc., have been an era of superbeings?



So which represents the true past of Rifts Earth? It can't be



both. Can it? Actually, it is both and neither.



The



Rifts® timeline is neither of these Earth settings, yet



linked to both! The Coming of the Rifts and the subsequent



Great Cataclysm transformed Rifts Earth into a giant conduit for



mystic energy. As such, the Earth can barely contain the energy



and links it to the vast, dimensional Megaverse on a cosmic



level that even the most seasoned master of magic or dimensional



traveler cannot understand. As a cosmic dimensional



nexus, rich in magic, rippling with barely containable power,



and given to random eruptions in the space-time continuum,



those dimensions closest to Rifts Earth —parallel worlds; other



Earths — are the most vulnerable to its dimensional disturbances



and disruptions. Remember, each "Rift" is a tear in the



fabric of space and time, but it is also a hole in the fabric of real



ity



as we know it.



The Earths of



Beyond the Supernatural™ and Heroes Unlimited






are two such dimensional "twins." Worlds in other dimensions



that are so similar and so close (on a metaphysical



level) that they too are subjected to unpredictable and random



dimensional anomalies that originate from Rifts Earth. Dimension



bridging events that sometimes, briefly link these worlds,



their past, present and future, to Rifts Earth. That's how



Victor



Lazlo




came to Rifts Earth, and the past of his Earth has been



confused for the past of Rifts Earth (of course, for all we know,



there was a parallel Victor Lazlo!). Likewise, the



Cyberworks of



Rifts Earth shares common links and disturbingly similar histo



ries



to the Earth of



Heroes Unlimited™. These are not twisted



reflections of each other, but separate, though vaguely similar,



realities. Basically, points in time and space that are so similar



that the lines between the different realities sometimes blur and



crossover. Fortunately, these blurs are sporadic and mainly occur



at ley lines and nexus points where the dimension spanning



magic energy is at its strongest. Victor Lazlo vanished while investigating



one such ley line nexus when realities converged.



Even momentary blurring of realities can cause aspects of



different worlds or dimensions to cross and intertwine. This can



cause individuals to vanish from one world and "cross over" to



the other (a frighteningly common occurrence in the Bermuda



Triangle and similar places of magic), lose hours of time even



though only a few minutes have seemed to pass, to the appear



ance



of supernatural monsters or inexplicable occurrences that



seem to defy the laws of physics. It can also lead to unusual ley



line activity, the opening of a dimensional portal temporarily



linking the two different realities, and distortions in the space



time



continuum of both worlds.



All three of the "Earths" noted previously (and a few others)



have periodically linked, clashed and blurred since the begin



ning



of time. Tied together by a network of mystic energy on ley



lines that actually span not only space and time, but other dimensions



and realities. In this case, because each of the alternate



Earth dimensions share so many similarities, inexperienced dimensional



travelers (and witless victims of random anomalies)



may be torn from their true, originating reality and warped to



one of the others. The similarities of their worlds lead them to



wrongly regard the different dimension to be their own, only a



past or future time period. This is what happened to Victor



Lazlo. He has stepped from one reality into another, one he incorrectly



believes is the future of his Earth. The fact that Rifts



Earth and Lazlo's



were similar and have touched and affected



each other many times throughout history, making him a prominent



historical figure on Rifts Earth, only confuses the issue.



This means that Victor could, someday, return to his own world



(although time has passed), except he isn't trying to do so because



he doesn't realize it even exists — he honestly believes he



has been "Rifted" into the future.



Ironically, because these parallel worlds are so strikingly



similar, they are virtually impossible to distinguish from one's



own and difficult to locate through magic or scientific means.



Although Rifts Earth is a dimensional nexus with the capability



of linking to thousands (perhaps an infinite number) of different



worlds and dimensions throughout the Megaverse, in most cases



the "rift" through space and time is random and unpredictable.



Dimensional anomalies, events and dimension travelling beings



are so comparatively commonplace on Rifts Earth that



many people (and our readers/gamers) tend to take dimensional



travel for granted. However, even the most expert, so-called



masters of dimensional travel, like the Splugorth, Temporal



Raiders, gods, and scores of supernatural beings, actually possess



only a fundamental and limited understanding of the



Megaverse and the energies they wield to warp and cross into



other realities. They don't even fully understand why magic energy/



P.P.E. exists, let alone how it works, why it seems to cross



all lines of existence, or how it can be manipulated by the mind



to alter or pierce the veil of reality. Magic, P.P.E., Chi, or whatever



one calls it, appears to be a form of energy that permeates



and binds the entire Megaverse. Many have come to believe the



energy is one of the most basic building blocks of reality (at



least as we understand it). As the stuff of reality, the mystic energy



enables its users to warp space, defy the laws of science/



physics (at least as we understand them), to tear open the



very fabric of space and time to (momentarily) bridge one place



or reality to another, and create physical things and energy out



of thin air with a thought. Masters of magic and so-called gods,



may have a better understanding and control of the energy, but



they don't know how or why it works.



That's why Rifts Earth is so important and has attracted so



many diverse and powerful beings (among other reasons): To



study the unbridled power and random dimension spanning activity



in order to get a better understanding of how these things



work, and, to better understand the composition and function of



the Megaverse. The very existence of places like Rifts Earth and



how they come into being as epicenters of barely containable



mystic energy and dimensional forces is a complete mystery.



Their existence (and discovery) is extremely rare and incredibly



unique (and dangerous). The seething energy erupts and reacts



in unpredictable ways that rip apart, confuse, combine and re



structure



reality. It links dimensions, creates and destroys. A



rumbling transdimensional volcano whose every rumble, let



alone eruption, sends shock waves throughout the Megaverse.



Such is the mystery and power of the Rifts. Thus, most D-bees



19



are the helpless victims of circumstance, torn from their homeworlds



and brought to the dimensional epicenter that Earth has



become.



Those greater powers who come to watch and learn cast their



eyes upon an enigma of nature beyondsa their imaginations.



Sadly, many others have forsaken the search for answers and



come only to use the energy for their own machinations. They



are fools and opportunists playing with cosmic fire that may



represent the very stuff of creation.



Earth links.




Located in the world settings of Beyond the



Supernatural, Heroes Unlimited, and Rifts®




are certain



"places of magic" that serve as conduits to each of these diverse



worlds and timelines (as well as to the Astral Plane, Wormwood,



and other dimensions). The most notable are the so-called



Power Triads. A ley line network that forms a triangle and covers



an expansive area.



The Bermuda Triangle is the most notorious,



but other Power Triads include



The South American,



African, Mediterranean, Japanese




and South Pacific/Australian



Triangle.




Of course, on Rifts Earth, some of these places are



more dangerous than ever, or are dominated by powerful forces



like the Splugorth of Atlantis where part of the Bermuda Triangle,



or "Demon Sea" as it is known on Rifts Earth, now overlap.



If one knows how, a dimensional portal can be opened at any



ley line nexus, although one may have to wait until the mystic



energy is at its peak. Dimensional portals can be created to gain



access to any of Palladium's world settings, from



Skraypers™,



Rifts®,




or any Dimension Book™ to Robotech® and the Palladium



Fantasy RPG




worlds. Likewise, experiments in dimensional



or time travel, or space warp systems may



accidentally



create a dimensional portal. In any case, travel to other dimensions



via magic or rips in space and time should be exceedingly



rare, especially in the modern Earth setting.



Note:




Beyond the Supernatural, Second Edition should be released



in early 1999. The earlier edition is currently out of print.



The Imp,



Supernatural



Rumormonger



By William Muench



Adam approached the man slowly, studying him. The snitch



had dark features and his eyes shifted from place to place constantly.



A small tic in his left eye began to twitch as Adam came



closer.



With nervous cough, the man said, "Yes, may I help you? "



Not bothering to ask his leave, Adam sat down at the table



and rested his large arms upon it. Distastefully completing the



greeting, he replied perfunctorily, "Hello, Lector. I've been told



you can get information that other people can't."



"Now who might have told you that, Mr._? "



Adam shook his head. "I'm just your client, you don't need to



know my name. As for who told me, it was Nicodemus." The



snitch's appearance seemed to flicker momentarily, and Adam



instantly became more cautious. The face of a normal man does



not flicker.



Pausing a moment to gather his thoughts, Lector nodded and



continued. "Fair enough. As our mutual friend Nicodemus has



told you, I can find out virtually anything you need to know.



What can I learn for you? "



"I need some information. Last night some Warlords rumbled



in my domain. I want their names, the leader's name, and



where I can find them all. By tonight."



Lector smiled a smile that was slightly unsettling, even to a



'Kinetic like Adam. "That's all? Easy enough. I can let you



know within the hour. Meet me back here at 12:30 with $250.



Maybe we can have some coffee."



"I don't think so, Lector. I'm not fond of rumormongers, but



I don't have much of a choice at the moment. I'll be back here



with your money, but don't expect any pleasantries."



"Why, I have received many pleasantries from you already.



I'll make due with those I have. " His tic intensified slightly as



he grinned widely.



Adam got up and walked towards the door without a word.



As he reached out for the handle, Lector called to him, "Re



member,



Adam, don't talk to strangers." At the sound of his



name, Adam looked back at the snitch. Where he had sat in the



corner, only a flicker of flame lingered.



Imps are extremely intelligent supernatural creatures. Like



many intelligent humans, simple things fascinate Imps. They



like to play jokes on unsuspecting creatures and are almost



faerie-like. However they know when a joke will be appreciated



and when it will not; they aren't likely to play a joke on an Old



One. Because of this high intelligence they have an insatiable



desire to learn everything, and because of their photographic



memory, they remember everything they see or hear. As a result



of these qualities they have become the supernatural rumormon-



20



gers of the Megaverse. They are superb spies and infiltrators,



and while moderately powerful they prefer to rely on stealth and



cunning. For some reason, Imps don't particularly like magic users



and enjoy playing pranks on them.



In their natural form, Imps appear similar to small gargoyles,



3 feet tall and about 751bs. They have coal black skin with orange



tints on their underbellies and the insides of their wings,



and bright green eyes. Silver claws tip their fingers. They are



shape shifters who can change into a specific human form that



never changes, but ages as they do (extremely slowly).



Alignment:




Usually anarchist (80%), but can be any.



Attributes:




I.Q.: 4D6, M.E.: 2D6+2, M.A.: 3D6+4, P.S.:



2D6+4, P.P.: 3D6+1, P.E.: 3D6, P.B.: 2D6 in natural form,



3D6+2 in human form, Spd.: 4D6+6 running, !D4xlO+20



flying. Supernatural strength.



Size:




3 feet tall in natural form; generally between 5 feet 4



inches and



5 feet 8 inches tall in human form.



Weight:




751bs in natural form, generally between HOlbs and



ISOlbs in human form.



Natural A.R.:




7 in natural form.



S.D.C.: !D4xlO



Hit Points:




P.E. + !D6xlO



Average Life Span:




Unknown, presumably millennia.



Horror Factor:




10 in natural form, none in human form.



P.P.E.: !D4xlO



Natural Abilities:




Imps possess night vision equal to human



day vision, prowl 80%, and regenerate from mundane (i.e.,



non-magic like guns, knives, etc) damage at 2D6 HP/SDC



per melee. Shadow Meld or turn invisible at will (equal to Invisibility:



Simple), unlimited duration. Special: Human



Metamorphosis - Imps can change into a specific human



form at will. The form is set and cannot be determined by the



Imp. The human form has a P.B. of 3D6+2 and looks just



like a normal human. The transformation takes one melee action.



Imps cannot fly in human form.



Experience Level:




1D6+2



Psionic Powers:




I.S.P.: M.E.+4D6, powers include total recall,



speed reading, object read, clairvoyance, and mind block



auto-defense.



Magic Powers:




None until 7th level. At 7th level they gain teleport



at 75% and Dimensional Teleport at 50%. These powers



do not cost any P.P.E.



Combat:




4 attacks per melee.



Damage:




As per supernatural strength. +1D6 for claws, bite



does 3D6.



Bonuses (in addition to attributes):




+4 to dodge, +2 to initiative.



Vulnerabilities/Penalties:




None



Skills:




Intelligence 98%, Pick Pockets 75%, Pick Locks 75%,



Palming 80%, All Lores 98%. Can speak and understand all



languages. Imps can learn other skills at the GM's discretion,



but they are not extremely important and should be deter



mined



on a case by case basis.



Alliances and Allies:




Imps are usually free agents, but may



serve a specific master as a spy or informant.



Enemies:




No natural enemies.



Conversion Notes:



Rifts:




Combine hit points and S.D.C. and treat as M.D.C.



Strength is supernatural.



All other settings:




No change.



Pirates!



By Shawn Merrow



The seas of the Palladium Fantasy world are filled with dangers,



not the least of which are floating around on the surface.



This should give players some idea of what to expect, and give



then: Game Masters a better idea of what to throw at them.



Pirate Behavior



How do Pirate captains treat their crew? How do they treat



the crew of captured ships? Below is a list that will hopefully



give you some idea on this.



Good Alignments



About the only way most good characters would resort to piracy



is to fight a secret war for their country. This way the country



can hit at their enemies and deny responsibility.



Principled



1. This alignment will only become a Pirate to attack his nation's



enemies.



2. Will always treat the crew well but may also be a harsh



task master.



3. Will never kill prisoners unless they attack his men or are



reputed to be very dangerous.



4. Will never sell prisoners into slavery.



Scrupulous



1. This alignment will sometimes also become a pirate just



for the adventure.



2. Will treat the crew well and be easy going in the enforce



ment



of rules, but that doesn't mean the crew walks all over him.



3. Will never kill prisoners of good alignment unless he is



forced. May kill prisoners of an evil alignment or a member of



the monster races.



4. May consider selling prisoners of evil alignment or one of



the monster races into slavery.



Selfish Alignments



These are the most common alignments among pirates. They



have enough good in them to work within groups, and they are



usually willing to plunder a ship and sell it's crew into slavery.



These are the perfect attributes for a pirate.



Unprincipled



1. This alignment usually becomes a pirate for the adventure.



It's not uncommon for them to see themselves as Robin Hood



type characters.



2. Will always be fair to the crew and usually is quite popular



with them. This sometimes will lead to a chaotic ship with lax



dicipline.



3. Will not kill prisoners unless forced to by their actions.



May sometimes kill evil prisoners and monster race prisoners



rather than bother with them.



4. Will sell monster races into slavery and will consider sell



ing



evil prisoners as well.



21



Anarchist



1. This alignment usually becomes a pirate for the money.



2. Will not be fair with the crew and sees no real need for



rules, other than "what he says goes".



3. Will usually not kill prisoners but if they resist in anyway



they will be killed. The alignment of the prisoners does not matter



in how they are treated.



4. Will potentially sell any prisoner into slavery. It mainly



depends on the mood they are in and how the prisoner has behaved.



Evil Alignments



Evil alignments generally do not make good pirates. They



tend not to work well in groups and often backstab their crew



mates.



This can pose a problem if a vital crewmember is killed



at sea and there is no one to replace him. Though there will usually



be a few evil crewmembers on any pirate ship, they rarely



command the ship, at least not for very long.



Miscreant



1. This alignment usually becomes a pirate for the money,



glory and power.



2. Will usually be a harsh and erratic task master. The crew



will still respect him but mostly out of fear.



3. Will see no problem with killing prisoners.



4. Will regularly sell the prisoners into slavery.



Aberrant



1. This alignment usually becomes a pirate for the power and



glory.



2. Will usually treat the crew with decency and keep his word



to them. On the other hand, any violation of the rules will be



met with swift and harsh punishment.



3. Will not usually kill prisoners if they can be sold into slavery.



If they are going to be a problem though they will be killed.



4. Will have no problem with selling prisoners into slavery.



Diabolic



1. This alignment usually becomes a pirate for the power and



the fun of creating chaos.



2. Will usually treat the crew very badly, and mutiny is quite



common. The crew will be punished at a whim and it will usually



be lethal.



3. Will quite often kill prisoners just for the fun of it.



4. Will sell any surviving prisoners into slavery.



Generic Pirate Stats



Below is a group of basic pirates that can be found on most



ships.



Crew - 2nd to 4th Level Pirates or Sailors



Attributes:




Will quite often have a P.S. and P.P. higher then



ten. The rest are average.



Actions per Melee:




Between four and six, depending on the



level.



Bonuses:




Usually none other than from the O.C.C. or R.C.C.



Combat Skills:




W.P. Blunt, W.P. Grappling Hook, W.P. Sword



and one other.



Skills of Note:




Castaway/Shipwreck Survival, Climb/Scale



Walls, Rope Works, Seamanship and Swimming are the most



common skills.



22



Weapons:




Short bladed weapons are very popular, the Cutlass



in particular.



Armor:




None normally but will wear light leathers if combat is



expected.



Officer - 3rd to 5th Level Mariner



Attributes:




Will have an I.Q. of at least ten and a P.P. over



eight. The rest are average.



Actions per Melee:




Between four and six, depending on the



level.



Bonuses:




Usually none other than from an R.C.C.



Combat Skills:




W.P. Blunt, W.P. Sword and one other.



Skills of Note:




Astronomy & Navigation, Castaway/Shipwreck



Survival, Climb/Scale Walls, Flag Signaling, Identify Sea



Life, native Language and one of choice, one Literacy of



choice, Math: Basic, Rope Works, Sailing and Seamanship



are the standard skills.



Weapons:




Short bladed weapons are very popular, the Cutlass



in particular.



Armor:




None normally but will wear light leathers if combat is



expected.



Warlocks - 4th to 6th Level



Attributes:




An I.Q. above six and an M.E. above ten. The rest



are average.



Actions per Melee:




Between four and six, depending on the



level.



Bonuses:




+2 to Saving throw vs. Horror Factor (+6 against elemental



beings), +1 to Saving throw vs. Magic, +1 to Saving



throw vs. Possession.



Combat Skills:




W.P. Sword and one other.



Skills of Note:




Castaway/Shipwreck Survival, Climb/Scale



Walls, Languages: two of choice, Literacy: one of choice,



Land Navigation, Lore: Demon & Monsters, Lore: Faerie



Folk, Rope Works, Seamanship, Wilderness Survival.



Magic:




This varies quit a bit but favorites are long range spells



that can damage or slow down ships. Below is a partial list of



some of the more popular.



Note Earth Warlocks do not join ship crews so they are



not listed.



Air: Cloud of Slumber, Cloud of Steam, Create Mild



Wind, Stop, Wind, Howling Wind, Northwind, Call Lightning,



Fingers of the Wind, Wind Rush, Ball Lightning, Calm



Storm, Freeze Water. Fire: Blinding Flash, Cloud of Smoke,



Globe of Daylight, Nightvision, Cloud of Ash, Darkness,



Freeze Water, Spontaneous Combustion, Circle of Cold, Circle



of Fire, Extinguish Fire, Fire Ball, Wall of Flame, Cloud



of Steam, Flame Friend, Fuel Flame, Mini-Fireballs.



Water: Cloud of Steam, Create Fog, Purple Mist, Salt Water



to Fresh, Breathe Underwater, Change Current, Fog of



Fear, Water Seal, Calm Waters, Circle of Rain, Command



Fish, Freeze Water, Sheet of Ice, Create Water, Communicate



with Sea Creatures, Hail, Shards of Ice, Wall of Ice, Water



Wisps.



P.P.E:




70 to 140



Weapons:




Short bladed weapons are very popular, the Cutlass



in particular.



Armor:




None normally but will wear light leathers if combat is



expected.



Pirate Captain NPCs and Encounters



Garson Stumpfoot, a.k.a. Smasher



Garson was born deep in the Old Kingdom mountains. He



was captured and sold into slavery at an early age along with the



rest of his village. He was sold to a merchant who traveled from



Sino to Rankin and needed more guards. It was decent work,



and the Merchant was fair to Garson.



It continued like this till one day the merchant was killed in a



bar fight. It looked as if all the merchants slaves were going to



be put up for auction to pay his bills. Through luck and quick



action Garson was just barely able to slip out of town. Not



knowing what to do, he traveled down the shore of the Timiro



Kingdom. This went on for several days till he came across a Pirate



ship moored in a small cove.



The ship had just recently lost its first mate and was having a



tournament to see who would take the vacant post. When the



crew spotted Garson they hauled him before the captain. The



captain, rather preoccupied with the fight, just waved for the



crew to kill him. Garson, not having anything to lose, asked to



join in the tournament. This greatly amused the captain and he



allowed Garson to join the fight. The fight lasted an hour but at



the end Garson was the winner.



Garson took to being a Pirate quickly and soon grew to



greatly enjoy this new life. He spent several years on the "Grinning



Skull" plundering in the waters around the The Floenry Islands.



After a few years, Garson became sick of following



orders and wanted to be in charge. He decided the best way to



get rid of the current captain was to poison him. This was done



the next the "Grinning Skull" was at port. There was some



grumbling from the crew but they quickly accepted the change



in command. In the last year, Garson has started targeting slaver



ships and freeing the slaves. He remembers his early life as a



slave and wants to stop it or at lest hamper it some.



Name:




Garson "Smasher" Stumpfoot



Alignment:




Anarchist



O.C.C. & Experience:




3rd Level Ogre Mercenary and 2nd



Level Pirate.



Age: 28 Sex: Male



Height:




8 feet Weight: 380 pounds



Attributes:




I.Q. 10, M.E. 9, M.A. 11, P.S. 22, P.P. 14, P.E.



18, P.B.6, Spdl4.



Hit Points: 34 S.D.C.: 60



P.P.E.: 4



Horror Factor:




10



Description:




He is an Ogre of average height. He has an above



average number of scars, and a tattoo of a grinning skull on



his right shoulder.



Actions per Melee: 6; Hand to Hand:




Expert



Natural Abilities:




Nightvision 40 feet (12.2 meters).



Bonuses:




+2 to Strike, +5 to Parry and Dodge, +4 to Roll with



Punch/Fall/Impact, +4 to pull punch, +1 on Initiative, +7 to



Damage, +7 to Saving throw vs. horror factor, Clawed hands



inflict 2D4 + P.S. bonus, Kick does 3D6 +P.S. bonus, Bite



does 2D4 but no P.S. bonus.



Combat Skills:




W.P. Battle Axe, W.P. Blunt, W.P. Chain, W.P.



Grappling Hook, W.P. Knife, W.P. Shield, W.P. Sword.



Skills of Note:




Animal Husbandry 65%, Athletics (General),



Body Building & Weight Lifting, Boxing, Card Shark 50%,



Castaway/Shipwreck Survival 40%, Climb/Scale Walls



23



70%/65%, Falconry 60%, Horsemanship: General 60%/55%,



Language: Elven 70%, Language: Gobblely 98%, Language:



Human Eastern 70%, Pick Pockets 50%, Prowl 45%, Recognize



Weapon Quality 60%, Rope Works 45%, Seamanship



41%, Sew 45%, Streetwise 40%, Swim 50%, Use & Recognize



Poison 40%/32%, Wilderness Survival 60%.



Armor of Note:




He wears a suit of Leather of Iron (magic) with



the following properties; A.R. 15, S.D.C. 60.



Weapons of Note:




Garson's favorite weapon is a Dwarven



Mace (+4 to Damage, +2 to Parry). He usually though has a



wide range of weapons available to him.



Underlings:



First Mate: 4th Level Human Sailor.



Second Mate: 4th Level Ore Mercenary.



Third Mate: 5th Level Elven Water Warlock.



Other crew members of note:




One 4th Level Fire Warlock,



twelve 3rd Level Pirates.



Personal Wealth:




24,000 in gold and valuables worth 10,000



gold coins. Also the "Grinning Skull", a Western Empire



Carrack ship.



Hook, Line and Sinkers



The Broken Shackle



Hook:




The players hear rumors of a Pirate ship, the "Grinning



Skull", targeting slavers and releasing the slaves. The story



goes that the captain used to be a slave and is on a mission to



stop slavery.



Line:




The players hear shortly after the first rumors that the



various governments have decided to stop Garson.



Sinker:




What do the players do about the news they have?



They can ignore the rumors and go about their way, or they can



either find and help Garson or at least warn him that he's made



big enemies.



Be Careful Who You Work For



Hook:




The players are approached by a wealthy merchant for



a high paying job. The merchant lost some valuable cargo when



one of his ships was attacked by pirates.



Line:




The cargo is a box of valuable magical ingredients



(2,000,000 gp worth) on their way to the Western Empire. It



was Garson's ship that captured the cargo and he is not likely to



part with it easily.



Sinker:




The players thought they had problems just getting



the cargo back from the pirates. When they do get their hands on



the box they find out the merchant was lying about the contents.



The merchant is really a spy for the Western Empire and the box



contains copies of the Timiro battle plans if war broke out with



the Western Empire.



Freedom



Hook:




This is an adventure for a group of non-Human characters.



The players start out the game as slaves.



Line:




The players are being sent to the The Floenry Islands



to be sold to the locals. For the Game Master, remember this is



not a cruise ship so the trip should be hard on the players. A few



days from the Islands the ship gets attacked by the "Grinning



Skull" and the players are most likely freed.



Sinker:




The players are free and now can go on their way or



they can join the crew of the "Grinning Skull." If they join the



crew. They will at least have an interesting career as pirates and



they may eventually wind up running the show themselves.



24



Bartin Dimmic



Bartin's family was part of the Seaman's guild in the Timiro



city of Credia. He was sent to sea at an early age to start his



training in the guild. It was hard work, but he got travel all



around the world. When he was fourteen he was sent to the Merchant



College to get the formal training he needed to be an officer.



To the joy of his parents he graduated from the college with



high marks and promptly got his first posting.



His family had power and he had already spent several years



at sea. Bartin was able to start as an Ensign on a merchant ship



making runs from Timiro to the Western Empire and sometimes



to the Bizantium Empire. Not much happened except the occasional



run-in with sea monsters and he was lucky to be on a ship



that never ran into pirates. After several years of this, Bartin had



reached the rank of First Mate and was transferred to another



ship.



This is where Bartin's run of good luck had its first major



bump. The ship was caught in a very fierce and sudden storm



on the way to the Bizantium Empire. The ship took heavy damage



and a large number of the crew was washed over the side,



including the captain. Bartin got the ship into a Western Empire



port so they could lick their wounds, and because he needed



time to choose a course of action. He repaired the ship and decided



to finish the trip and then head home to make his report on



what happened.



On his return he had to give a report on the voyage to the



head of his guild. The head of the guild was impressed with his



work and decided he would be useful for a special project they



had started. The project was to have some of their crews pretend



to be pirates to sink the merchant shipping of other groups that



got in their way. Bartin was given command of a Merchantman



ship "Dragons Tooth" and orders to attack Western Empire



ships. He was also given orders to occasionally hit other group's



ships so it wouldn't look too suspicious. He does try to avoid Ti



miro



ships and treats them with kid gloves if he has to board



one. Bartin mainly patrols the waters between the Floenry Islands



and the Lands of the South Winds.



Name:




Bartin Dimmic



Alignment:




Unprincipled



O.C.C.




& Experience: 5th Level Human Mariner.



Age: 39 Sex: Male



Height:




6 feet 2 inches Weight: 190 pounds



Attributes: I.Q.




12, M.E. 9, M.A. 14, P.S. 12, P.P. 15, P.E.



10, P.B. 17, Spdll.



Hit Points:




24S.D.C.: 20



P.P.E.: 3



Description:




Bartin is considered to be a rather handsome man,



though he shows a certain amount of weathering from a life



at sea.



Actions per Melee:




5; Hand to Hand: Basic



Bonuses:




+1 to Strike, +2 to Parry and Dodge, +2 to Roll with



Punch/Fall/Impact, +2 to Pull Punch, Karate style kick does



2D4 damage, Snap Kick does 1D6 damage.



Combat Skills:




W.P. Archery, W.P. Blunt, W.P. Sword.



Skills of Note:




Astronomy & Navigation 70%, Castaway/Shipwreck



Survival 54%, Climb/Scale Walls 60%/55%, Flag Sig



naling



57%, Identify Sea Life 53%, Intelligence 46%,



Interrogation Techniques 40%, Language: Elven 60%, Language:



Human Eastern 98%, Literacy: Human Eastern 50%,



Lore: Sea 60%, Math: Basic 65%, Prowl 45%, Rope Works



55%, Sailing 70%/55%, Seamanship 61%, Sew 45% and



Swim 70%.



Armor of Note:




He hates wearing armor and only does so when



absolutely necessary. When he does, he wears the standard



armor of most seaman or at least the ones who can afford it.



Leather of Iron (magic) with the following properties; A.R.



15, S.D.C. 60, Buoyancy, Weightless.



Weapons of Note:




He usually keeps a Kobold Long Sword (+2



to Damage) at his side. Any other weapons on him will vary



by his mood.



Underlings:



First Mate: James Hwang, 4th Level Human Mariner.



Second Mate: Teri Franzen, 5th Level Human Air Warlock.



Third Mate: Craig Gershen, 4th Level Human Sailor.



Other crew members of note:




One 4th Level Water Warlock,



Four 3rd Level Sailors, Ten 2nd Level Sailors.



Personal Wealth:




10,000 gold pieces saved up. His ship the



"Dragons Tooth" does not actually belong to him, and is



owned secretly by the guild.



Maybe We Should Have Walked



Hook:




The players are for one reason or another on a Western



Empire ship. At sea the ship is attacked and boarded by the



"Dragons Tooth."



Line:




The crew is taken prisoner and brought back to Timiro



to be questioned about the activities of the Western Empire on



the sea.



Sinker:




If the players are from the Western Empire they will



be questioned at length for what they know. If they had just



been on the wrong ship at the wrong time they will be thrown in



a dungeon. The problem both groups have is they face eventual



execution to make sure the true power behind the "Dragons



Tooth" remains a secret. Should the players manage to escape



they will have some interesting news for the Western Empire.



Search for the "Dragons Tooth"



Hook:




The players are hired by someone from the Western



Empire to investigate the "Dragons Tooth" and find out why she



is targeting mainly their ships.



Line:




The safest way to find the "Dragons Tooth is at port.



Though if they use a ship from the Western Empire they may



find them the hard way at sea and face combat with the "Drag



ons



Tooth."



Sinker:




It should be hard for the players to find out the truth



about the "Dragons Tooth" but not impossible. Also the Seaman's



guild behind the "Dragons Tooth" will do anything to



make sure the news is not brought back to the Western Empire.



Merchant Wars



Hook:




The players are traveling by ship but are currently at



port. At the port they start to hear rumors that Timiro and Western



Empire ships are attacking each other at sea.



Line:




Before the players leave port they hear it's no longer a



rumor but open warfare. The rest of the trip should be anything



but safe with Timiro and Western Empire ships attacking each



other on sight. So far no warships from either side have been involved



but that will likely change soon.



25



Sinker:




What do the players do? Do they join one of the



sides of the fight? Help protect neutral parties caught in the



cross fire? Do they try to come up with some way to stop the



fighting before a full scale war starts?



Jarson Telep



Jarson was born to a small noble family living in the city of



Old Timiro of the Timiro Kingdom. He was a good son studying



and training hard so he could carry on the noble line of the family.



This continued until his twentieth birthday. He surprised and



shocked his family with an announcement he wanted to join the



Timiro Royal Navy and see more of the world. His family debated



it for days but it was decided Jarson could go play sailor



for a few years but then he must return home.



He went to school to learn how to be an officer in the Royal



Navy and excelled as usual. That is, until he made the mistake



of falling in love, with a woman who was also desired by the



son of a more powerful noble family. To make matters worse,



the women in question fell in love with Jarson. The angered noble



son, in a fit of anger, framed Jarson of an attempt to kill the



school's headmaster. Jarson knew his chances of getting justice



were slim so he fled from the school. Because of the charges



and his actions he was disowned by his family.



Not knowing what to do, he joined up as a crew member of a



small merchant ship that made runs between Timiro and the



Western Empire. He sailed this route for years going back and



forth, while at the same time getting harder and more bitter with



every voyage. On a voyage during his third year working as a



sailor, the ship he was on was captured by pirates. The pirate



captain liked what he saw in Jarson and allowed him to join his



crew.



Jarson took an immediate liking to the life of a pirate, and he



quickly worked his way up the ranks of the ship. After a couple



of years he made it to First Mate. When the captain got too old



and tired to work, he retired and let Jarson buy out the ship. Jar



son



has continued to sail the ship in the waters around the



Floenry Isles and Timiro Kingdom mainly intercepting ships



traveling between Timiro Kingdom and the Western Empire. He



treats his crew well so they will follow him anywhere he leads.



Name:




Jarson Telep



Alignment:




Anarchist (Selfish)



O.C.C.




& Experience: 8th Level Human Pirate.



Age: 38 Sex: Male



Height:




6 feet 2 inches Weight: 180 pounds



Attributes:




I.Q. 14, M.E. 12, M.A. 18, P.S. 14, P.P. 14, P.E.



15, P.B. 12, Spd 12.



Hit Points: 38 S.D.C.: 14



P.P.E.: 12



Description:




Jarson is a man of average build. He has light



brown hair with dark brown eyes. He also prefers to wear



dark colored clothes. The usual expression on his face is a



stem one, but he has a smile that reminds most who see it of



a shark.



Actions per Melee: 5; Hand to Hand:




Expert.



Bonuses:




+2 to Strike, +3 to Parry, +3 to Dodge, +3 to Roll



with punch/fall/impact, +2 to Pull punch, +1 to Initiative, +3



to Saving throw vs. horror factor, Trust/Intimidate 50%, Kick



Attack does 2D4 S.D.C., Critical Strike on an unmodified 18,



19 or 20, Paired Weapons, Body throw/flip and disarm.



Combat Skills:




W.P. Blunt, W.P. Grappling Hook, W.P. Knife,



W.P. Sword.



Skills of Note:




Astronomy & Navigation 70%, Athletics (general),



Carpentry 65%, Castaway/Shipwreck Survival 63%,



Climb/Scale Walls 85%/80%, Cook 65%, Fishing 65%, Flag



Signaling 65%, Language: Elven 80%, Language: Human



Eastern 98%, Literacy: Elven 70%, Literacy: Human Eastern



70%, Lore: Sea 65%, Math: Basic 85%, Prowl 65%, Rope



Works 75%, Seamanship 65%, Sew 50%, Shipwright 59%



and Swim 90%.



Armor of Note:




He wears a suit of Leather of Iron (magic) with



the following properties; A.R. 15, S.D.C. 150 and Weightless.



Weapons of Note:




Jarson mainly uses a Dwarven Cutlass (+2 to



parry and strike) and keeps a knife in each boot.



Underlings:



First Mate: Lawrence Stout, 7th Level Human Air Warlock.



Second Mate: Michael Falicov, 5th Level Elven Pirate.



Third Mate: Gasher, 6th Level Ogre Mercenary Warrior.



Other crew members of note:




One 5th Level Air Warlock, one



6th Level Fire Warlock, one 4th Level Priest, one 5th Level



Water Warlock, and ten 4th Level Pirates.



Personal Wealth:




31,000 in gold and owns the "Bleeding Cutlass",



a Western Empire Caravel class ship.



The Bleeding Cutlass



Hook:




The players are for one reason or another traveling on



a ship. I'm leaving it up to the GM why they are on the ship but



they will need to be on one for this HL&S.



Line:




The player's ship is attacked by the "Bleeding Cutlass"



and the crew is captured after a tough fight. Everyone on the



ship is stripped of their possessions and herded on to the pirate



ship.



Sinker:




Captain Jarson plans to sell the crew of the captured



ship into slavery. This leaves the players with two main options.



They can try to escape, but this will be more difficult without



their equipment. They can also choose to join the crew of the



"Bleeding Cutlass." That is, if Jarson decides to trust them.



Bad Company Makes For a Bad Day



Hook:




The players are on a ship traveling between the Timiro



Kingdom and the Western Empire when a large storm



strikes. The ship rides out the storm but takes heavy damage.



The captain moors the ship in a small cove and sends some of



the crew inland to start cutting tress down for the repairs.



Line:




Not much farther down the cost line (about ten miles)



Jarson has moored his ship for the same reason. With the crews



so close together they are bound to bump into each other.



Sinker:




What happens now will depend on how the players



and pirates react to each other. The pirates may have slaves the



players want to free or treasure they want to steal. The pirates



will have about the same reasons to want to go after the players



except they will want to make the players slaves.



When the Going Gets Tough,



Go by Land



Note: Jarson is the reason for this adventure, but is not actively



involved in it.



Hook:




Because of all the problems with pirates lately (Jarson



being one of the worst) some merchants have started shipping



small but valuable cargo over land.



26



Line:




The players are approached to work as guards for a



merchant. A possible trip could be between the Timiro cities of



Nisi and Credia. Normally this would be a short voyage by sea



but will be a long trip on land. Any cities can be used but it



should be one with a short sea route between them and a long



land route.



Sinker:




It should take several weeks for the trip. The players



should face attacks by bandits and monsters along the way. De



pending



on the cargo all sorts of people could be interested in



relieving the players of it.



Hacking,Cyberjacking and



Supernatural Data Theft



Across the Megaverse



By Wayne Breaux



Official Rules for Rifts®,



Heroes™ and the Megaverse®



This little romp through the computers of the megaverse is



dedicated to all my online pals at Rise From Chaos



(http://www.warlock.mudservices.com): Draco, Reaper, Arcturus,



Christopher, Daemon, Fenris, Tifa, Pleiades, Estaban, and



all the others I have yet to role-play with or might have forgot



ten.



I just wish I had more time to help you guys protect



To/keen. ;)



Wayne Breaux, Jr. (AKA Cashide Moin-Raudh)



Certainly computers are a familiar icon of our modern era,



and hacking is a term easily associated with them. Hacking re



lies



on a knowledge of computer programming and a cool head.



From one end of a computer connection, the hacker takes apart



the program codes of a computer on the other end of the connection



to retrieve information, steal electronic money, sabotage da



tabases,



alter information, or indirectly manipulate people by



placing and changing things within the machines. In most game



settings, this is the only way that these kinds of operations can



be handled; from a distance via a keyboard, limited by the speed



of one's typing and the travel time of an .electronic pulse across



that distance and back again. (Note that hacking can be done directly



on a given computer if the hacker has access to it. Going



through a modem, the Internet or a network is not absolutely



necessary.). Now, this system doesn't seem that slow to most of



us who use it every day, but how would it compare to hacking



that didn't require constant keyboard commands and had little or



no delay due to distances?



The cybernetic headjack was introduced in Rifts, but its use



in that book was limited to sensory input with certain robotic



and scanning systems. Applying headjacks to the direct interfacing



with computers was first described in Mutants in Orbit



(MIO), a process known throughout the megaverse as cyberjacking.



The MIO entry (which is reprinted below) was descriptive



and concise, but provided little in the way of specific rules



or expansion suggestions. Given the highly advanced, technical



setting of Aliens Unlimited, I felt that the Galaxy Guide could



use some expanded hacking/cyberjacking rules. As I set about



writing them, I was surprised they had not been written before,



especially with the presence of computers and other technical



aspects of Rifts, Ninjas and Superspies, Heroes Unlimited, and



Robotech. So, as a preview of the upcoming Galaxy Guide, and



to add yet another element of adventure to your other trips



through the Megaverse, here are some expanded rules for computer



hacking and cyberjacking with some O.C.C.s tagged on.



As always, I hope they add excitement and flavor to your gaming



experience.



(Reprintedfrom Mutants in Orbit)



"Some computers allow their users to go beyond the normal



"interface" of a keyboard, joystick or mouse, and to communicate



directly with the computer via a socket ("dataplug" or



"headjack") implanted in the back of their necks. This means



that the computer operator's mind effectively enters the computer,



seeing its memory and processors as a kind of virtual re



ality.



Once accessed, the cyberjack can alter data, add data,



change files, and redesign the computer's programs, all with his



mind. If the computer is linked to others in a network...the user



can communicate with other cyberjacks within the network..."



"Cyberjacking is much more direct and up to ten times



faster than normal computer programming, but not without its



perils: software bombs, viruses and Trojan horses may lurk



within the computer's memory; other cyberjacks can ambush



27



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you or design programs to trap your mind within the computer;



and if the computer itself is artificially intelligent then anything



might happen."



"Characters must have the computer operation skill to take



cyberjacking..."



As the previous text explains, cyberjacking is the experience



of actually moving/walking through a computer system with the



use of a direct brain-to-hardware link via a dataplug/headjack



(For those without the proper reference, the prices for headjacks



are listed below). Once inside the electronic world, the cyberjack



will normally find the data in each system arranged in neat



columns and rows, forming patterns and planes of glowing data



reminiscent of hallways, rooms, floors, and ceilings of a sort,



but they do not always line up completely, leaving wide halls



with no ceiling or offset planes that form multi-level floors or



platforms. Electronic space is vast and black, even in small systems.



The glowing data structures are located in a localized area



with a dark vastness beyond it. This space, like the one surrounding



our planet, normally has no "gravity," and the cyberjack



can move in any direction as he makes his way through the



data, though certain directories or security measures will block



direct access in the virtual world as readily as they do so in the



real world of physical interfacing. Different physical systems,



such as multiple hard disks or a computer and its peripherals,



appear to be linked by dark tunnels lit by pulses of energy. The



cyberjack can simply walk down these tunnels or catch a ride on



a passing bundle of energy to enter or access the other system



(the same is true of networked computers). Needless to say,



when the attached device is turned off, the "tunnel" connecting



it to the computer simply does not exist. Even a cyberjack cannot



manipulate a device with its power off unless he can provide



his own source of energy via psionic, magical, or supernatural



ability (see later information on exactly which specific abilities



allow this).



When someone cyberjacks, he has access to nearly any aspect



of the computer with the speed of thought, giving a new dimension



to hacking as the character grabs data almost as fast as



the computer can process it, which gives the creative, adaptive



living mind a tremendous edge. Traditional security, such as



passwords, encryption and embedded directories rarely work



against such formidable capabilities. For this reason, most powerful



organizations and entities that rely heavily on computers



have their own cyberjack security personnel and defensive AIs



watching and patrolling their systems. These active measures



serve the same function as their real world counterparts by directly



surveying the data world on a regular basis, deterring intrusion



by their presence, and responding immediately when a



problem does occur. An additional perk to active security is that



the security personnel are commonly skilled computer technicians



and can double as repair personnel if problems should occur.



The AIs that are used for security will have little or no ties



to the system proper, and run as autonomous programs. This



prevents any damage to the system itself should they be damaged,



destroyed, or corrupted.



Active security aside, perhaps the strongest defense a system



can have is a Reality Enforcement System. This system creates a



graphical virtual environment that seals the computer's data constructs



behind "solid" images of real world walls, doors, and



passive security. These virtual walls and barriers can coincide



with the data walls of an unenforced system, or they can be



28



completely independent. Regardless of its basic layout, the RES



makes it impossible for a cyberjack (or any other operator) to



access the system's data without conforming to the reality being



enforced by the RES. This means that if a RES generated hallway



has a door in it that leads to the personnel records, then



anyone wanting to get to the personnel records has to go down



that hall and through that door just as if they were doing it in the



real world. Of course, certain backdoors can exist, and other



programs will allow a cyberjack to get around the door, depending



on if it has security on it, but at its heart, the RES makes accessing



the realms of electronic space as challenging as if it took



place in the real world. Just as any imaginable environment can



be graphically represented in a video game, so too can the images



of an RES look like anything; a medieval castle with Ore



guards, a surreal landscape of alien forms, a super high tech



Atorian command center, Chi Town, and on and on. The appearances



are all up to the tastes of the owner and the talents of his



programmers. The active defenses mentioned before are normally



incorporated into the RES environment and given matching



or at the least, complementary, graphical shells. (Campaign



tip: RES systems can be used creatively to do a sort of facsimile



time travel campaign when used with a group composed entirely



of cyberjackers.) One final bit of info on RES: cyberjacks move



through the generated environment as if actually there, while



hackers move through the graphics seen on their screen.



A few notes on RES. First, they are almost exclusively



housed in their own chips and send commands to the system



through the CPU chip. What this means is that the reality enforced



by the RES can not be altered or accessed unless control



of the CPU has already been established, but by that point, altering



the RES environment may be a moot point....unless it was



the reason for accessing the system in the first place. Secondly,



the RES determines the laws of physics for the computer system



it is connected to. This means that any environment which can



be dreamed up and programmed can exist in a RES. The com



puter



systems of mad programmers, or those created by brain



fried cyberjacks, can be disorienting and unsettling at the least;



others can be downright dangerous. Not all do, but many RES



also force visitors to conform to the environment by dressing



them accordingly or, if the hacker has been discovered, revealing



them with highlights or characteristic markings.



So, cyberjacking is leaps and bounds beyond traditional



hacking, but what's the catch? Well, regardless of whether a cyberjack



is hit by another jacker, an AI program, or passive defenses,



the result is the same; cyberjack damage feeds back



through the dataplug directly to the brain. Because of this, it is



frighteningly easy to die in cybercombat. Any character "killed"



in cyberjack combat immediately goes into a coma (unless they



are permanently dead, as per the Palladium rules for such, in



which case their brain dies and the body soon follows). The effect



of a cyber-death manifests as memory loss and dullness of



wits (permanently reduce I.Q. by 1 point for each cyber death)



as well as brain damage (lower all skill percentages by 2% for



each cyber death). Repeat cyber-deaths have cumulative effects



as the character slowly lobotomizes himself. Sanitariums



throughout the megaverse are filled with cyber-drones who



thought they were better than they actually were, console cowboys



too cocky to admit defeat, others who were addicted to the



rush of the direct brain stimulation and cyberjacked until they're



just a shell, and those few who gambled on that last big payoff



that didn't. Regardless of the reasons, the result is the same; the



many little deaths in the cyber realm only serve to weaken the



cyberjack. Like an old program in a new system, they continue



to degrade until they have so many problems they can't function



anymore...or they simply crash with one final, fatal error. In addition



to these penalties, the Game Master should also require a



random insanity roll for each cyber-death, as over-stimulation



causes the brain to react in strange ways. Phobias are common,



especially for cyber-deaths in a RES where a face can be put on



the 'jack's killer, as are obsessions, specifically the drive to beat



or get back at the system that caused a particular cyber-death.



With all of this in mind, burnt out cyberjackers can be some of



the most unnerving people one can meet with their quirky, often



insane personalities and brain damage that can no longer be hidden.



Cyberjacking and Hacking



Across the Megaverse®



Depending on what game setting you are currently adventuring



in, there will be a few differences in what to expect when



hacking or cyberjacking. Perhaps the biggest point of mention is



the impact of magic, psionics, and super abilities on electronic



adventuring. In their respective settings, these factors are as im



pressive



in cybernetic space as any cyberjacker, and some are



even more so. Each setting and genre will have its own terms for



these radical elements, such as Cybermancers for practitioners



of magic, Psychers or Psibers for psionics, and just about anything



for super powered data dancers. Now, while these differing



methods of entering cybernetic space are not statistically



different, their presence in the data realm will certainly spice



things up. Now that all the options are on the table so to speak,



what can one expect in any given campaign as far as opposition



in the data realm?



Robotech: Except for the rare cybernetics of the Invid, the



magic of the Perytonians, unique robots (like Janice, Veidt, and



Sarna) and the psionics of the Regis and Regent (all of which



are largely unavailable to player characters), Robotech has no



exceptional or supernatural means of accessing the electronic



space inside a computer. All hacking in such a setting will therefore



be via traditional hacking techniques. The available equipment,



however, will be slightly more advanced than that of our



world, including very small yet powerful laptops, portable stor



age



mediums like one inch laser discs with the capacity of dozens



of normal CDs, and satellite access. The only major limit on



hackers in Robotech is the state of the world. Obviously, Invid



Invasion scenarios will not have many notable computer networks,



while Sentinels could have fantastical alien systems with



full RES to augment them.



Ninjas and Superspies: Unless some kind of crossover campaign



is going on, Ninjas and Superspies will have only traditional



and cyberjack hackers. In this setting, cyberjacks will be



powerful forces, AIs will be rare, and RES systems will likely



be common corporate assets. Much like Robotech, N&S will



have traditional equipment, but slightly more advanced than our



own. On top of that, gizmoteers and high tech corporations can



easily create other variants on traditional setups that make hack



ing



easier or more convenient.



Beyond the Supernatural: Though BTS does have the possibility



for psionic and even magical hackers, they will be rare,



29



and traditional hacking will be found almost exclusively in such



campaigns. In addition, except for extremely rare government



experiments, there will be no cyberjackers; however, when these



rare electronic terrors do show up, they should add flavor to the



game by horrifying those who can't easily keep up with their



abilities. The equipment in BTS will mimic that of our own.



Laptops will be available, but they will perform much like their



real world counterparts, and advanced models of any tech will



be rare and likely introduce their own element of horror into the



game.



Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: TMNT will either be set in a



normal world setting much like BTS/Heroes Unlimited, or in a



post apocalyptic scenario as described in After the Bomb. In the



former setting, the situation will be very much like that of BTS,



with very rare appearances of anything other than traditional



hackers. A Heroes Unlimited type campaign will differ very little



from BTS unless it actually has super powered elements, in



which case it will mimic that of Heroes Unlimited as noted below.



In an After the Bomb setting there will be very limited,



heck, practically no computer networks outside the Empire of



Humanity. On the other hand, inside the Empire, headjacks will



be a real possibility, and cyberjacks could threaten any hackers



brave enough to enter those systems. The available equipment in



TMNT will reflect the setting it is played in. Laptops will be super



rare in an after the bomb setting, but very common in a more



real world setting.



Heroes Unlimited: More so than any other setting, save Rifts,



Heroes Unlimited has the most potential for a very lively and



dangerous electronic universe. Not only does it have a number



of hacker oriented power categories, but it also has psionic,



magical, robotic, bionic and super powered hackers adding to



the mix. Many of the sensitive computers that characters will



have to access without permission will have the possibility of



some form of advanced security, whether it is technological or



supernatural. Duels and rivalries in the data realm can add spice



to a campaign, not to mention what they do for the character development



of the hacker. Reality Enforcing Systems will be expensive,



but nearly every major corporation and the government



or military will be able to afford one, as will many major super



villains. This kind of campaign has a lot of potential for high



stakes action within cybernetic space. The equipment a hacker



can choose from here will be much like that of Ninjas and Su



perspies.



It will be pretty close to what we have now, but some



advancements and prototypes will exist, especially when a hardware



character is about.



One step beyond Heroes Unlimited is a campaign set out in



the Milky Way Galaxy as detailed in Aliens Unlimited. In such



a setting, the tech is advanced, computers and vast computer



networks are more common, and electronic data is much more



plentiful and much more valuable. High tech and supernatural



computer security will be more common, and nearly everyone



can afford RES systems. It can easily be seen why this information



seemed perfect for that setting as I was expanding it for the



Galaxy Guide. The equipment level in a galactic campaign is



one of the highest. There will be palm computers as powerful as



our real world personal computers, gauntlet systems that require



no keyboards, VR accessories, and tons of other helpful gadgets.



The imagination is the limit, especially for certain special training



and hardware power categories.



Rifts: Similar to Heroes Unlimited, Rifts has great potential



for the hacker / cyberjacker. The tech is higher than Heroes, and



the magic and supernatural more plentiful, plus it has a plethora



of alien races and their accompanying tech to further spice up



the stew. The only failing here is the overall lack of unified



computer networks and other long ranging communications.



Adventures in the computer web aren't hampered by this within



specific geographic locations, but hacking Triax from North



America might be a bit difficult, if not impossible. Of course,



hacking Triax might not be a wise move in the first place, but it



just might be necessary. Equipment wise, Rifts rivals Aliens Unlimited



and the galactic campaign; however, the tech here will



be more diverse and less localized. Where in Aliens Unlimited



you might stop off at the nearest large space station to shop a



store full of VR accessories, in Rifts one might have to visit a



number of specialty shops across the Coalition states, or take a



trip over to the New German Republic to find the same selection



or goodies.



Please note that the above observations are generalizations



and not absolutes. I could have mentioned a number of exceptions



and possible adventure ideas within each setting, but that



could fill a book, so take what's here as a crude core for your



campaigns, then add your own imagination and have some fun.



The Rules



Game Masters can use any applicable penalties given in this



section and some regular skill rolls with computer operation and



computer programming to handle normal hacking situations, but



to add some spice to a game or in settings where cyberjackers



are present, the expanded combat and hacking/cyberjacking



rules should be used. Looking over the rules and bonuses below,



it should quickly be obvious that traditional hackers pale when



compared to cyberjackers unless outfitted with loads of virtual



reality accessories. Only the very best of hackers can stand on



their own against those augmented by advanced technologies or



supernatural abilities.



The most important thing about hacking is the ability to understand



and modify computer code and programs. Computer



operation lets you operate a computer, its peripherals, and most



common software. It does include, in some cases, a rudimentary



understanding of programming, but such knowledge will only



benefit you when tweaking your own system on a very basic



level and has no impact on hacking. Computer programming is



an in depth understanding of how to make computers do things



by writing code for it in the form of programs. This skill adds



strength to hacking and is the core of it, but computer programming



is very different from hacking. The skill can be substituted



for hacking, but all hacking rolls in such a situation will be at -



5%. Hacking is the practiced application of flexible programming



with the intention of accessing computer systems other



than one's own (hacking is not necessary for operations within



one's own computer; computer security personnel hardly ever



have any hacking skills). It is less formal and more "seat of the



pants" than simple programming and requires a certain flair,



thus it is categorized as a separate skill. What this means is that



games without the Hacking skill should add it if these expanded



rules are to be used. Computer Hacking is a Rogue skill (or



Technical for those games without the Rogue category in its



skill selections) that adds a one time bonus of +5% to the cryptography,



surveillance systems, and locksmith skills (if they are



30



among the character's known skills). It has a base percentage of



15% and increases by +5% per level of experience. Prerequisites



include literacy, computer operation, and computer programming.



Now, as mentioned before, programming is the heart of hacking.



Any effect you wish to pull off in the data realm takes the



form of a program (unless you are actually inside cybernetic



space which is detailed in the specific advanced methods of



hacking below). All you can do is look, unless you actively attempt



to make the system do something, even if it is as simple



as switching directories. Entering commands is a simplistic form



of coding, but it's nothing compared to the real stuff that makes



the spectacular effects. Thus, if a hacker wants to prowl away



from electronic security, a program would be needed to disappear



or hide by telling the target system to ignore him. Thus



each skill, weapon, or piece of equipment used is actually a program



telling the target system how to react to the hacker's pres



ence



(it's actually a bit more involved than that, but we're



keeping it simple here).



In traditional hacking, this level of programming isn't necessary.



Hacking rolls are made against the security level of the



system being hacked with the proper penalties applied; however,



when hacking a RES system where the normally simple laws of



the data realm are complicated by artificial rules, more intensive



interaction becomes necessary, and programs to duplicate skills,



weapons, and other items usually unnecessary in the data world



become necessary. If the character prepares specific programs



beforehand, such as the prowl skill mentioned previously, a simple



roll based on the effectiveness of the program is all that is



necessary to perform the desired skill when it is needed later in



cyberspace. The actual rating of the program, except for weapons,



is equal to half the percentage of the computer program



ming



skill. Thus, a hacker with 65% computer programming



could easily write 32% skill level programs, be they surveillance



system emulators or prowl equivalents. The percentage of these



programs can be raised, but the roll to write them suffers a -5%



penalty for each +10% added (max of 92%). Writing programs



on the spot can be done, but it is quite difficult. There is a -30%



penalty to whip up instant programs (takes 1 melee round). The



time required to write other programs is left up to the Game



Master, but 1D4 hours plus one hour for each 5% penalty is a



good guideline (remember the character still has to work and



live a normal life around this time). Special equipment like



grapple guns or smoke bombs can also be programmed this way,



but lacking a skill rating, most of them will only require a sim



ple



skill roll to duplicate.



As one can imagine, especially if they have ever played a



computer game, nearly anything can be done with a program. In



cyberjacking and hacking, this means spells and psionic abilities



can be mimicked with the right program. These special effects



are more difficult than skills to duplicate,, starting at one quarter



of the programming skill with the same penalty to increase the



percentage. Thus, the 65% skill in the previous example being



used to duplicate a Charismatic Aura spell would result (on a



successful roll) in such a program with an 16% success rate. If



the program fails its 16% skill check when used, it would fail to



run properly and have no effect; however, successful rolls follow



the spellcasting rules for the spell they are copying which



might entitle the target to a saving throw. To keep things simple



in his case, use the normal magic or psionic rules for these type



of effects even though they are not actually magical or psionic



effects. The saving throws represent the unorthodox nature of



the effects and the difficulty of implementing them. Note that



actual spell use within the data realm uses its own rules (see below).



The simple rules for passive computer security are actually



the basic rules for computer hacking, including penalties as presented



in Heroes Unlimited, Beyond the Supernatural, and a few



other Palladium supplements. Once again, hacking only requires



a few skill rolls. Only when cyberjacking, supernatural hacking,



or RES come into play do the more complicated rules have to be



used. Systems are generally layered, with light security increasing



to much heavier types as the heart of the system or sensitive



data is approached. This setup and the penalties below are the



basis of all computer systems. RES and active security are



added or layered on top of it. The penalties reflect the complexity



and difficulty of each job. Note that each of the listed times



are much less than those listed in Heroes Unlimited because the



latter times are for breaking the entire system in one roll. The



system given here represents the separate stages that form the



single roll system of Heroes Unlimited. Depending on the layers



and complexity of the computer system set up by the Game



Master, the individual times may or may not add up to the times



given for the single roll system. In addition, depending on the



information the character is going after, hacking a system like



the Pentagon might not require actually penetrating the super sophisticated



military security if what you are looking for is located



on one of the lesser security areas of the system.



-10% Simple security such as passwords and other general



ID. Requires one melee action per attempt to pass.



-20% Moderate security such as unique or specialized requirements.



Requires one melee round per attempt to pass.



-40% Sophisticated security such as minor encryption and



code recognition. Requires one minute (4 melee rounds) per attempt.



-50% Super sophisticated security such as encrypted passwords



and codes or isolated system elements. Requires 5 minutes



per attempt to pass.



-60% Superior military or government security. Requires 20



minutes per attempt to pass.



-10% Unknown or prototype code.



-5% Rolls inside a RES.



This system is used to move from one security zone to another



(or back again). Failing a roll against passive security



means that moving on is impossible, but it can also mean that



tons of active security measures have been called to your location.



Responses and roles of passive security will vary from sys



tem



to system. If any kind of active security is encountered, then



actual combat will occur as detailed in the next few paragraphs.



Cyberjack weapons are actually a combination of power



surges and damaging programs. They do damage based on the



creator's level in the computer programming skill. Those characters



without computer programming can buy pre-programmed



cyber-weapons, but those weapons will not operate within the



system of the person who did the programming. Cyber-weapons



usually appear as a weapon relative to their damage (a knife or



pistol for small damages and rune weapons or field guns for



larger damage ratings), and they do 1D6 damage per level of the



31



programmer. For each D6 of damage it does, there is a -2% penalty



to the computer programming roll to create it. For this reason,



most such weapons are programmed to do 3D6 or 4D6



damage even if the programmer is high enough level to make



much larger weapons. Ranged cyber-weapons have a payload



equal to the character's computer programming percentage divided



by the number of die it does for damage. For example, a



programmer with a 78% programming skill could make a 1D6



damage pistol with 78 shots, a 6D6 rifle with 13 shots, a



!D6xlO rail gun with 8 shots, etc. Melee weapons do not have



charges or ammo. Once the payload of a weapon has been expended,



another loaded weapon must be used, or the character



can attempt to reload the empty one by making a computer programming



roll (takes two actions). A cyberjacker can carry any



number of weapons, unlike the limits of encumbrance in the real



world. Those characters who can not program their own cyberweapons



can purchase them for around 1,000 credits/dollars per



dice of damage, meaning the rail gun in the example above



would cost 10,000 credits/dollars. The damage and payload of



the weapon does not go up with the character's level or percentage.



To take advantage of level advancement increases, another,



better weapon must be created, requiring a computer programming



roll with appropriate modifiers.



Cyberjack combat works just like any combat in Palladium,



with a melee round composed of several strikes, parries, or



dodges. The only major differences is that it is normally mental



combat, with no physical bonuses. Hand-to-hand skills have no



effect, and neither do physical skills or bonuses. Even characters



that are actually inside the data realm by virtue of supernatural



means will only have access to a small part of their physical bonuses



(they do not use any of the rules below for determining



number of attacks or other bonuses; consult the specific entries



for their means of access for details).



To determine the strike, parry and dodge bonuses in the data



realm, instead of P.P., use the character's I.Q. rating, but slide



down the chart to the P.P. bonuses to get the actual bonus



number. An additional bonus to strike, parry, and dodge comes



from dividing the character's computer programming or hacking



skill percentage by 24 (i.e.. a skill percentage of 80% is a +3 bonus;



round fractions down). In addition, all characters also gain



an additional +1 to all of their rolls at levels 3, 8, 11, and 14



(Note that this is the actual level of their hacking or computer



programming skill, and may not equate to their actual experience



level if they were taken at later levels as additional skills).



Other bonuses come from specific supernatural abilities or specialized



equipment (see below for descriptions).



The change from physical based combat to mental/electronic



also means a change in the number of attacks. Hackers only



have two attacks per melee round regardless of their normal



physical attacks per melee round. Additional attacks are gained



at levels 3, 8, 11 and 15. The lack of hand to hand skills (the



only skill that can not be programmed) also means that unless



some special ability imparts automatic parrying, each parry



costs an attack. On top of all these bonuses, if the character has



computer programming but does not possess the computer hacking



skill, all combat rolls are at a -2 penalty and they lose one attack



per melee round unless they are within their own computer



system.



Now the really rough part; all attacks do damage direct to the



character's hit points if he is cyberjacking or otherwise directly



connected to the system! For some reason, this effect can not be



stopped or cut off, but filters have been developed to minimize



it. Cyberjacks affectionately refer to these filters as "armor".



There is no S.D.C. in cyberspace unless the character has pur



chased



filters. The only exception to these rules are AI's (not



transferred intelligences, but actual computer intelligences)



which can have their CPU chips hardened to provide S.D.C.



against cybernetic damage, and those who are physically inside



the computer. AIs can use filters in addition to their hardened



CPUs. Hackers and those not directly connected to the system



do not take damage, but the cumulative damage inflicted by the



active security is converted into a percentage, which is rolled at



the end of each round to see if the hacker's system is damaged



enough to crash. If the system crashes, it means that security



forced the hacker's computer to corrupt itself, but not before



broadcasting its location to the wrong people (if such has not



been determined previously through other means). All cybercombat



is S.D.C. combat. In the rare cases where M.D.C. creatures



enter the computer world physically (via super ability or



psionics), they receive no S.D.C., only their M.D.C. as hit



points.



If a character is physically inside a computer, and they are



knocked unconscious, they are immediately ejected from the



system into the real world by way of the nearest outlet for such



(including shorting out the computer system in some cases),



which increases the length of time they are unconscious by 4D6



minutes. Characters physically inside a computer that are put



into a coma through cyber-combat do not suffer cyber-death; instead,



they experience the same process as if they had been



knocked unconscious, and upon being dumped into the real



32



world, they will suffer a -20% penalty to their recovery rolls for



surviving the coma. This kind of hacker is powerful, but failure



can often be worse than cyber-death.



And while we are talking about KOs and comas, here are a



few tidbits on what happens when someone pulls the plug while



you are inside a system (whether physically or electronically).



Hackers that use keyboards suffer no adverse effects when the



system they are hacking is shut off. Cyberjackers and others



linked to the electronic world, but not physically inside the data



realm, that are cut off in mid-hack will be stunned for 2+1D4



melees when their link is abruptly severed. During this time, the



character can do little because of disorientation, and any actions



performed are done so at -4 or -10% for skills. Those supernatu



ral



hackers that physically enter the computer world suffer a bit



more when their electronic reality is ripped away by power loss.



They are ejected physically from the computer (as if knocked



out, possibly putting them right in the middle of the enemy's



home turf), stunned (just like cyberjackers, but for twice the duration),



and suffer 2D6 damage direct to hit points.



Cyberjacking and



Supernatural Hacking



Now on to the bonuses and details for each specific super



ability, psionic power, and magical edge as well as some tech



nological



means of cyberjacking. A number of these methods



can be combined depending on the campaign setting, such as a



Hardware: Electrical Genius character in Aliens Unlimited getting



a headjack, or a Rifts cybermancer getting a similar implant.



Note that Nightbane can not get cybernetic implants due



to their shape shifting nature, however, with Game Master ap



proval



the character's morphus might have a headjack if it has a



cybernetic head as one of its morphus traits. All of the listed bonuses



are cumulative, and just about all of the abilities can be



combined (within common sense and the limits of the game



world). The most notable exception to this is the headjack and



the supernatural abilities of Lightning Rider, Metamorphosis:



Energy and Alter Physical Structure: Electricity. Since the latter



three abilities actually take the character physically into the



computer system, a headjack to interface with the computer



would be of no use to them. Note that those hackers that physi



cally



enter the digital world take their clothes and some equipment



with them (no more than 50 pounds worth), but only



energy or melee weapons will function within the electronic



realm.



Looking over the bonuses, one can easily see that keyboard



hackers are at an obvious disadvantage in the stat department.



These characters will just have to make up for their limitations



with increased skill and creativity. Carrying a large variety of



weaponry and gadgets or "skill" programs is also a good idea.



And finally, perhaps the greatest advantage of the keyboard



hacker: they do not have to worry about cyber-death.



Headjacks and the supernatural methods detailed below can



be used to access any computer, including targeting computers



for vehicle weapons and security computers that control the



cameras and automated guns of a building. In these cases, the



character uses the same bonuses (those that are applicable) as



for hacking, such as the strike bonus when controlling weapons.



Those bonuses are added to any other applicable weapon or sur



veillance



bonuses (yes, the listed computer bonuses for each



method of hacking can be added to the surveillance systems



skill when operating automatic cameras in this manner). The



computer bonuses listed below can also be applied to vehicle



skills if the vehicle can be completely controlled by a computer,



such as a spacecraft or futuristic hover car.



Headjack



The headjack is the simplest way for a hacker to gain a tremendous



advantage in the cybernetic realm, but only if the game



setting supports bionic technology. Using a headjack to augment



an interface provides +2 to strike, +3 to parry, and +3 to dodge



in addition to adding two extra attacks per melee round. It also



provides the character with the ability of automatic parry in



combat. A headjack also effectively adds +10% to a character's



computer hacking or computer programming skill, but only for



the purpose of defeating passive security. Any damage taken in



cyber-combat uses the rules given previously. People who use



headjacks are referred to as cyberjacks.



Hardware - Electrical



These characters are such natural computer operators that,



despite their more traditional means of hacking, they gain a certain



edge when data jockeying. Add a bonus of+1 to all of their



combat rolls, and add an additional attack when they reach third



level. The Super Sleuth gains no additional bonuses beyond



their very high starting skill in hacking and possible I.Q. bo



nuses.



Unless these hackers are using a headjack, they do not



suffer damage from cyber-combat; instead, it is applied to their



system (see the combat rules).



Psionics



There are a number of psionic abilities which can enhance



the effectiveness of a hacker, but always keep in mind that each



psi-power requires I.S.P. to fuel it, and each also has a limited



duration. Those two factors combined can make a simple hack



an expensive venture for the psychic. All of the bonuses given



for the psi-powers are cumulative if the psychic can afford to



have them active at one time. All in all, the limited ranges of the



psi-powers makes a Psiber most effective at hacking computers



he actually has physical access to, but they do give somewhat of



an edge to long range hacks, especially when compared to those



without psionic assistance.



Telekinesis



Allows the hacker to perform actions without leaving his seat



or taking his hands off of the keyboard, which can be very



handy in switching disks or activating peripherals while engaged



in combat or some other delicate endeavor. It is handy,



but gives no notable edge, so bonuses are low: +1 to dodge and



+2% to skill rating for defeating passive security. Automatic



parry is also a benefit of this psi-power.



Sixth sense



Has no effect on hacking unless the computer being hacked is



within 90ft of the hacker. In the latter case, the power will function



normally.



Speed Reading



An invaluable tool for someone who has to get in fast and



leave even faster while being careful doing it. Speed reading



adds +1 to parry and dodge along with a +10% to the computer



skill against passive security.



33



Total Recall



Most effective on systems the character has penetrated or en



countered



before. This includes avoiding security on the way



out of the system. It adds +5% to the computer skill while hack



ing,



and when facing a system or opponent that has been encountered



before, it gives +1 to strike and parry plus an



additional +5% to the computer skill (for the latter bonuses, the



ability must be activated).



Electrokenisis



Similar in its application to telekinesis, this ability will



mostly be helpful in increasing the performance of one's own



computer by freeing the hands for typing, yet still being able to



perform other activities; however, when the computer being



hacked is within the character's range (45ft+5ft per level), the



electrical discharge and electrical resistance abilities can be focused



into the system to aid in cybernetic combat. In this unique



situation, the discharge does 5D6 (but costs 4 I.S.P. instead of



2), and the character's resistance acts as medium cyber-armor



(see below) for 3 melees per level of experience. Bonuses are



otherwise minimal: +1 to parry, +1 to dodge and automatic



parry. When within range of the other computer, double the bonuses



and add +5% to the computer skill against passive security.



Tele-mechanics



This is the most powerful hacking tool of the Psiber. It too is



limited by range, but even if the hacker can not get access to the



target computer, this ability gives such mastery of his own system



(by eliminating the delay of using a keyboard) that he can



move easily and quickly through most defenses. If the Tele



mechanic



Psiber can get within range of the target computer, use



the bonuses for the lightning rider talent given later; otherwise,



the following bonuses and benefits are gained: add two additional



attacks per melee round, +2 to strike, +3 to parry and



dodge, automatic parry and +15% to computer skills against



passive security. Tele-mechanics allows for mental communication



with a computer, but not control of it, so data must still be



hacked (unless, of course, there is no security on it).



Talents ————————————————————————



There are only two Nightbane talents that have any notable



effect on hacking, and both are, at the least, impressive. Nightbane



who use these talents to hack are commonly called Net De



mons



or similar combinations of horror and electronic slang.



Lightning Rider



The ultimate hacking tool, this talent allows the Nightbane to



actually enter the computer system without a computer of his



own and manipulate target systems directly. It is an impressive



ability that allows the Nightbane to use all of his physical abilities,



bonuses, and S.D.C. in the cyber-realm. No additional bo



nuses



are gained, but that should not cripple or hinder the 'bane



in combat; however, the lack of a computer to hack with means



that no filters can be used (and real world armor does not work



in cyberspace). The fact that a lightning rider uses no computer



to hack also means that no programs can be used. Only the char



acter's



own skills are available. Now, this also means that no



computer skills are technically needed to hack; however, such a



lack of skills would preclude the penetration of passive security



and is not recommended if one wants to be a successful hacker.



Deus Ex Machina (Machine Control):



This ability and its bonuses are identical to Electrokinesis,



minus the electrical discharge and electrical resistance, but with



a much longer range. Deus Ex Machina and Lightning Rider can



be used simultaneously with cumulative bonuses (Yes, add the



bonuses to the already impressive ones of the morphus while inside



a computer), and since the lightning rider is within the computer



system, it is always within range of this ability. In



addition, if both talents are used in conjunction, the hacker can



turn peripherals and linked computers on from inside the system



if they are within his range. Thus a hacker with both of these talents



that needs to get into the computer of a Nightlord controlled



general might have to hack into his secretary's system, then turn



his machine on (if it is within range) to reach it through a network



or direct cable connection.



Super Abilities



There are two notable super abilities that will affect hacking.



Of all the supernatural means of hacking, these are the most



powerful because they are not limited by range and can bring



their full effects to bear on even the most distant of computers.



Additionally, neither of them has a duration, nor must anything



be spent to maintain them. Super powered hackers are some of



the most effective data thieves and saboteurs, ranking right



alongside robots and AIs.



Alter Physical Structure



Electricity: This ability is very much like Lightning Rider



with many of the same strengths and all of the same limitations,



plus an additional one. This ability is not as focused or passive



as Lightning Rider. It is aggressive and hard hitting, something



one can see by simply looking over the things it can do. In addition



to the character using all of his physical abilities, all of his



attacks in cyberspace add +10 to their damage. Because the



character is actually within the computer, the electrical attacks



listed under this ability can be used against active security, but it



also means that (like Lightning Rider), no programs can be



used, and the characters must rely on their own skills. Again, it



also means they can not use filters and must rely on their own



S.D.C.



Mechano-Link



This is simply the ultimate hacking asset. Mechano-link allows



those who possess it to completely ignore passive security



and automated active security (such as search programs and



simple attack AIs like automated weapon programs). The only



obstacle to this kind of hacker is high end, active security like



other hackers and intelligent AIs, but even when faced with such



opponents, the Mechano-link hacker has massive bonuses, including



three additional attacks per melee, +3 to strike, +4 to



parry, and +4 to dodge. Additionally, they have both automatic



parry and automatic dodge abilities.



If both Mechano-link and alter physical structure: electricity



are combined, the bonuses for this ability are added to the character's



physical abilities while inside a computer system. This is



the most powerful hacking ability and when combined with one



of the second most powerful abilities, the hacker is almost unstoppable



(sheesh, just look at the seven attacks at first level for



the average character with this combo).



34



Energy Resistance



This minor super ability protects any cyberjacker using it in



much the same manner as a filter. It provides no bonuses, but



functions normally against cyber-combat damage, absorbing the



first 20 points of damage in each melee round.



Extraordinary Physical Prowess, Extraordinary



Speed and Multiple Limbs



Each of these super abilities increases the speed at which a



hacker can type, and thus increases his performance slightly



(they can also aid a character physically inside a computer, and



thus the bonuses are available to Alter Physical Structure: Electricity



characters). Each of the three abilities adds +1 to strike



and +1 to dodge in cyber-combat. If two of the three are combined,



the bonuses increase to +1 to strike, +1 to parry, and +2



to dodge. Anyone lucky enough to have all three gains an additional,



+2 to strike, +2 to parry, and +2 to dodge.



Magic




—-^—^—-^—^———^————————-



Magic and technology do not normally mix well, except for



the specialized techno-wizard magic of Rifts. Some advanced



societies that have developed magic alongside high technology



have developed ways of combining the two in a manner different



than that of the techno-wizard. The use of spells to hack has



the same drawbacks found in psionics: duration is limited, and



the cost of casting and maintaining the supernatural augmentation



is rather high. Cybermancers are indeed rare, but those who



can manage to combine the mystical and technological arts are



impressive within cyberspace to say the least. While inside a



computer (by using Metamorphosis: Energy), the cybermancer



can use his physical abilities with the limits explained below.



This means that spells can be thrown normally, but gamemasters



should use some common sense. For example, Fireball will



work normally because computers and heat don't mix well (note



that the fireball does not take up its normal area of affect, it



manifests within the physics of the data realm which is the magicians



current reality and the effects are proportional), but Extinguish



Fire will not work on a digital fire (though real in



appearance, it is actually an electronic based thing...of course,



Energy Disruption cast on the fire would extinguish it). If the



gamemaster will be allowing a cybermancer in his campaign, it



might be a good idea to go through the spell list and make notes



on what spells will work at all, and how the others that do will



actually function (The same goes for super abilities and talents).



Techno-wizard computers: By enchanting computers to run



on mystical energy and allowing them to function via telepathic



commands instead of a keyboard, the TW Cybermancer speeds



up the operation to a level somewhere between using a headjack



and that of actually entering the computer. The bonuses are impressive:



two additional attacks per melee, +2 to strike, +2 to



parry, +3 to dodge, automatic parry and +15% to computer



skills against passive security. All other hacking rules are unchanged,



except for a note on filters. Normal filter programs can



be used, but enchanting the TW computer with an armor of



ithan spell provides an A.R. of 16 and S.D.C. of 95 (Yes, it does



differs from the actual stats of the spell when applied this way).



Machine Empathy (New Spell)



Range: 25ft+5ft per level; Duration: 10 minutes + 1 minute



per level; Saving Throw: Requires a willing target; P.P.E.: 15;



Level: Considered a fifth level spell. This spell magically links



the target with a nearby electronic machine, allowing him to



communicate with it. If the machine is not self aware, but still



capable of an array of tasks (like a computer), the spell recipient



can interact with it as if using some kind of input device, but at a



much faster and more efficient rate. Self aware computers and



artificial intelligences can be conversed with, but not given orders



or controlled. The spell is very much like a form of organic



to machine telepathy. It is very much like Tele-mechanics in its



results, but it does not impart the complete working knowledge



that its psionic equivalent does. The spell recipient can quickly



learn a lot about the machine through the link he shares with it,



but his knowledge of it will only be about 30% (compared to the



88% of Tele-mechanics). The bonuses when hacking with the



Machine Empathy spell are the same as those for Telemechanics.



Metamorphosis: Energy (New Spell - Ritual Only)



Range: 50ft; Duration: 30 minutes + 2 minute per level; Saving



Throw: Requires a willing target; P.P.E.: 125; Level: Con



sidered



an eleventh level spell. This spell was specifically



designed to allow someone to physically enter a computer. The



spell is designed to emulate Lightning Rider, but it is not an exact



copy. It is only available as a ritual, and the person it transforms



is immediately transported into a computer (which must



be nearby). The spell faithfully emulates the ability of Lightning



Rider to take a person physically into the phone lines and cables



of any computer network, but it lacks the offensive capabilities



of the talent and once transformed, the target 'must' enter and



remain inside a computer or other data transfer device (like



phone lines) until the duration ends. Leaving the data realm ends



the spell immediately. Use the bonuses listed above for Lightning



Rider when hacking with the Metamorphosis: Energy spell.



The spells duration can be extended for another full duration by



the expenditure of another 125 P.P.E.



Energy Disruption



This spell can be used by a character that is inside a computer



(see Metamorphosis: Energy) as a rather effective form of attack.



When targeting an opponent (that fails its save), the spell



disrupts it for the duration of its effect. The drawback and main



reason this spell should be used carefully is that after the time



has passed, the affected target immediately reappears to once



more conduct its duties (like hunt down the hacker if he is still



in the system). This spell can also be used to completely shut



down a system, but the character must be inside the system to do



such and suffers the normal effects of a system shut down.



Robots and Artificial Intelligences



Robots with a modem connection can use that accessory as a



headjack. The electronic nature of the robot's brain (even transferred



intelligences use computer hardware to process thoughts



into actions) makes them naturals in communicating with other



computers. Like the Tele-mechanic and mechano-Link hackers,



robots have an amazing kinship with other computers, but unlike



mechano-link and much like a computer taking commands



from a human hacker, the robot must still fight through security.



Regardless, a robot's computer nature makes it a much more



natural hacker than a human, with bonuses that include three additional



attacks per melee, +2 to strike, +3 to parry, +3 to dodge,



automatic parry, automatic dodge and +15% to computer skills



against passive security (remember maximum is always 98%).



35



AIs and automated security can be set up by the Game Master



separately, but for the short and sweet, assume that artificial



intelligence security programs function within their own system



as 8th level (or higher for advanced systems) Tele-mechanic cy



berjackers



with 20 I.Q.s. The same AIs would function in other



systems (outside their own, a rare occurrence) as Hardware operatives



of 6th level with 18 I.Q.s. Player character robots use



their own level and I.Q. attributes to determine bonuses.



G. Ore Modeled Active Security



Our best selling level 2 active security AI in the popular Ore RES with



sylish black attire and basic rated 2 ranged weapon software.



Available now.




Cat #: 02984B 2,000 credits_________



Equipment



Each game will have its own list of prices for computers and



similar systems. Heroes Unlimited has perhaps the most inclu



sive



such list. Some special or new equipment and its cost are



listed here, however. Quick game note: A bonus of +1 to all



combat rolls can be added when a character uses a top of the



line computer or a mainframe type system. Higher tech computers



from greatly advanced societies (such as the Atorian Empire,



the TGE, and certain races of Phase World) can add +2 to all



rolls. Most of the following equipment can be constructed by



Hardware: Electrical Geniuses from Heroes Unlimited, the Genius



P.C.C. (Electrical Genius) from Beyond the Supernatural,



Gizmoteers from Ninjas and Superspies or any other appropriate



character type from other games.



Headjacks:




For those without the prices for such, here they



are. Wireless headjacks have a small transceiver/receiver that



sends commands to a receiver/transceiver attached to the com



puter.



It has no statistical advantage over a wire-linked headjack,



but is a bit easier to conceal and transport without the need



for 3 to 6 feet of interface wires. Cost: Headjack - 8,400 credits



in Rifts or Aliens Unlimited and $45,000 in Heroes Unlimited or



Ninjas and Superspies. TMNT and BTS would find prices almost



double that of Heroes Unlimited, if such hardware could



be found at all. Wireless headjack - 9200 credits in Rifts,



$60,000 in Heroes Unlimited and N&S, and almost ten times the



Heroes Unlimited price in TMNT or BTS (again, if it can be



found at all).



Reality Enforcing Systems:




As mentioned previously, RES



systems are expensive and normally affordable only to major



corporations and the government. These prices are for reference



and for those rare situations where player characters might be



able to afford them (such as a robot with a RES to protect its AI



system or a personal computer system). The Electrical Genius in



Heroes Unlimited and similarly skilled characters can design



their own RES using the construction rules given in Heroes Unlimited



2nd Edition. The cost of a RES system is based on its



size and passive security level. The security levels correspond to



those given in the passive security penalties list, and the sizes



represent how many security rolls at that security level need to



be made to pass through it. Most systems have separate security



areas (one size unit) for each division, department, or class of



sensitive information. Costs:



RES with simple security systems



- 20,000 plus 8,000 per secure unit.



RES with moderate



security systems




- 60,000 plus 15,000 per secure unit. RES



with sophisticated security systems




- 180,000 plus 24,000 per



secure unit. RES



with super sophisticated security systems -



1,000,000 plus 35,000 per secure unit.



RES with superior military



security systems




- 12,000,000 plus 50,000 per secure unit.



Cyber-Combat Filters (Armor):




Cyberjack armor has much



higher A.R. ratings than normal armor, because it has to protect



the brain of the character from attack. Cyber-armor uses the



standard body armor rules for damage and A.R. ratings.



Light



cyber-armor: A.R.: 12, S.D.C.: 30, Cost:




10,000 credits. Medium



Cyber-Armor: A.R.: 14, S.D.C.: 50, Cost:




15,000 credits.



Heavy Cyber-Armor: A.R.: 17, S.D.C.: 75, Cost:




30,000



credits.



TGE Rank IV Cyber-Armor: A.R.: 19, S.D.C.: 100,



Cost:




75,000 credits. CPU Hardening: Max S.D.C.: 10% of



robot's S.D.C.,



Cost: 5,000 credits per 10 S.D.C.



Virtual Reality Accessories (VR Accessories):




Virtual Reality



accessories allow non-cyber enhanced hackers to "see" the



data realm and interact with it without the need for a keyboard.



VR goggles enclose the vision of the user and project the artificial



reality of the computer onto the sense of sight. Similar accessories



bring the other senses into the cyber-world to further



immerse the user in the virtual reality of a graphic universe.



Body suits (lined with electronic sensors and available in any



number of styles) can translate every motion into electronic



commands and null gravity rigs (large circular braces that rotate



freely on a multiple axis while the user is suspended within



them) allow for total freedom of movement while negotiating



cyberspace. VR gloves translate finger motions into commands,



reading the actions as if a keyboard or mouse were being used.



VR gauntlets are much like VR gloves, but they are oversized



and plastic plated, almost like armored gauntlets in order to accommodate



the hardware for a built in mini-computer. VR



gauntlets are normally only available in advanced settings like



Rifts, Aliens Unlimited, and possibly Heroes Unlimited (notably



construction by the Hardware: Electrical Genius). Characters



that can benefit from the use of VR gear include normal



36



hackers and psionic hackers. Bionic characters can buy implants



that duplicate these effects; however, they are not cumulative



with the bonuses of a cyberjack.



VR goggles - Cost: 1,000 credits



or 10,000 dollars, Bonuses: +1 to strike;



VR gauntlets -



Cost: 3,000 credits or 45,000 dollars;



VR body suit - Cost:



5,000 credits or 60,000 dollars, Bonuses: +1 to parry and dodge,



Automatic parry, and one additional attack per melee;



VR sensory



equipment (helmet-like system)




- Cost: 2,000 credits or



25,000 dollars, Bonuses: +1 to strike, parry and dodge;



Null



Gravity Rigs




- Cost: 10,000 credits or 250,000 dollars, Bonuses:



+1 to parry and dodge, automatic parry, and add one additional



attack per melee round.



New Cybernetics specific to Hacking:




The following cybernetics



can be purchased by starting characters (the first prices)



or gotten later in their adventures (price after the slash). This



equipment can be purchased in any setting that has bionics or



cybernetics in its system. All of them are complementary to, and



can be used to their full potential with, a headjack.



Headjack Filters:




These special headjacks have filters built



directly into them. The filter hardware is rather large and commonly



detachable, being plugged directly into the headjack and



subsequently have connecting wires plugged into it. Another option



is to have the filters built into the head, but doing that re



quires



a bionic skull, and any future upgrades will require



surgery to implant them.



Cost (includes the cost of the headjack):



Light cyber-armor: A.R.: 12, S.D.C.: 30, Cost:



60,000/20,000 credits/dollars.



Medium Cyber-Armor: A.R.:



14, S.D.C.: 50, Cost:




95,000/30,000 credits/dollars. Heavy



Cyber-Armor: A.R.: 17, S.D.C.: 75, Cost:




140,000/45,000



credits/dollars.



TGE Rank IV Cyber-Armor: A.R.: 19,



S.D.C.: 100, Cost:




275,000/90,000 credits/dollars. CPU Hardening



(for Robots with headjacks): Max S.D.C.:




10% of robot's



S.D.C.,



Cost: 40,000 + 8,000/10,000 + 6,000



credits/dollars per 10 S.D.C.



Built-in Hacking Computer:




Similar to the mini-computer



listed in the Heroes Unlimited bionic selections list, this system



is designed for hacking or other heavy computer usage. It has



top of the line systems and comes with optional headjack hookups



(all internal with no wires or headjack, but an access jack in



the chest or arm is standard). Optional systems include integrated



VR systems and filters.



Cost: Basic System -



650,000/95,000 credits/dollars,



Bonuses: +1 to strike, parry and



dodge.



System with Headjack Connections - 675,000/105,000



credits/dollars,



Bonuses: +3 to strike, +4 to parry and +4 to



dodge, add two attacks per melee round, and add +10% to computer



skills against passive security.



VR Simulation System



(not compatible with a headjack) - 680,000/110,000 credits/dollars,



Bonuses:




+3 to strike, +4 to parry and +4 to dodge, add one



attack per melee round, and add +5% to computer skills against



passive security.



Maximized Headjack System



750,000/125,000 credits/dollars,



Bonuses: +4 to strike, +5 to



parry and +4 to dodge, add two attacks per melee round, and



add +15% to computer skills against passive security.



Occupational Character Classes



The following O.C.C.s are a collected ensemble from the



gamut of Palladium's game worlds. The originating game system



for each is noted for reference and to explain some of the



skill selections or limitations. They are all able to be used in any



campaign with only slight modifications, unless there are dramatic



differences to compensate for, such as the super abilities



of the Struthio Computer Master being used in BTS, but then



again, changing it to a humanoid alien with the same stats could



make it a horrible natural aberration that could easily terrorize a



group of psychic investigators. Use your imagination and have



fun with them. I know I certainly did that when I wrote 'em up.



Atorian Digital Security Specialist



(Atorian DSS) R.C.C.



(Aliens Unlimited)



The Atorian Empire is the most powerful force in the Milky



Way Galaxy of Heroes Unlimited. The resources and wealth of



the Empire allow it to not only build the most impressive computer



systems in the galaxy, but they are also able to protect it



with some of the most capable and deadly of computer security.



Much of the wealth of the empire, like that of many advanced



cultures, is electronic in nature, be it money or information. The



training for its security personnel is intensive and extensive.



Upon completion of those rigorous programs, the graduate is not



only a threat to the electronic enemies of the empire, but they



are also technical specialists able to diagnose and repair any



damages or troubles in the system.



Outside of cyberspace, the Digital Specialists alternate shifts



monitoring sensor systems and computers. Those that take tours



on warships or space stations are often trained as navigators, pilots,



or gunners. Combat skills for these specialists rarely go beyond



basic hand to hand skills and side-arm training, and they



rarely see combat outside the computer. The empire also has pilots



and other professions that have some cyberjack training and



headjack implants to augment their professions, but their training



focuses on their primary military profession.



In addition to their rigorous training and impressive skills,



the DSS has the power of psionics behind them, including Tele



mechanics



and some of the hottest computer tech available. One



of the most powerful pieces of standard equipment they have is



a compact unit that houses a combat AI which is programmed to



assist and backup the security specialist. On top of all this, key



pieces of cyberware add convenience and flexibility to the arse



nal.



The combination of cybernetics, psionics, and high technology



make for a very effective and deadly combination.



Atorian Digital Security Specialist player characters will advance



normally using the bionic experience table, and they use



their levels and stats to determine their bonuses. NPC personnel



will be at least fourth level cyberjackers with 17 I.Q.s for the average



system, with sensitive systems being protected by the



equivalent of hardware or Tele-mechanic cyberjackers of at



least eighth level. The systems of the Imperial throne worlds and



the clan powers have powerful AIs whose defenses operate as



37



15th level Tele-mechanic operatives with 27 I.Q.s, the largest



cyber-weapons, and heavy filters. The Imperial Ladies' personal



computer systems have active security equal to a 15th level



character with mechano-link and Alter Physical Structure: Elec



tricity,



programming skills of 98%, I.Q.s of 30 and the equiva



lent



of TGE rank IV filters.



Special Equipment:




Digital Combat Support Unit - This hip



or back mounted unit is made of light metal or impact resistant



plastic and resembles some kind of computer peripheral. It is



roughly 8 inches by 10 inches in size, and almost 3 inches thick



with small LEDs and cable ports or wireless adapters for transmitting



information. The sole purpose of the DCSU is to house



an artificial intelligence program designed for combat that is



programmed to take orders from, aid and support, and protect



the DSS while she patrols the digital world. DCSU AIs function



as sixth level robot cyberjackers with 18 I.Q.s. and computer



programming skills of 80%. They are also outfitted with medium



cyber-armor (A.R.: 14, S.D.C.: 50). Their total bonuses for



cyber-combat are as follows: 6 attacks per melee round, +7 to



strike, +8 to parry, and +8 to dodge, and they are also at +15%



to defeat passive security (only applies when outside Atorian



computer systems). Their cyber weapons are either small auto



matic



weapons (Damage: 4D6; Payload: 20) or more impressive



rifle-type weapons (Damage: 6D6; Payload: 12)



Requirements:




I.Q. 14 or higher, ME. 12 or higher. The DSS



O.C.C. is open to all races that are allied to and in good



standing with the Empire. The attributes and S.D.C. given



below are for Atorian DSS agents. Also, non-Atorian DSS



agents will have slightly less powerful DCSU units, and



other equipment will be standard types, including computer



systems (which will be cable connected instead of wireless).



Special Bonuses:




Only needs a 10 or higher to save vs. psionics.



Bonuses from high attributes may lower this further.



Attributes: I.Q.:




3D6, M.E.: 4D6+2, M.A.: 4D6, P.S.: 4D6,



P.P.: 3D6, P.E.: 3D6, P.B.: 3D6, Spd: 3D6x3



S.D.C.: 2D4xlO



O.C.C. Skills:



Computer Operation (+25%)



Computer Programming (+25%)



Cryptography (+25%)



Computer Repair (+25%)



Advanced Mathematics (+25%)



Hand to hand: Basic



Hand to hand: basic can be changed to hand to hand: expert



at the cost of one skill or hand to hand: martial arts at the cost



of two skills.



O.C.C. Related skills:




In Heroes Unlimited, select four additional



skills from electronics, mechanical, or technical. In a



Rifts setting, select six additional skills



Communications: Any (+10%)



Domestic: Any



Electrical: Any (+15%)



Espionage: Intelligence only.



Mechanical: Locksmith and Basic Mechanics only.



Medical: First Aid only.



Military: Strategy/Tactics only.



Physical: Any.



Pilot: Any (+10% on spacecraft)



Pilot Related: Any (+15%)



Rogue: Hacking only (+20%)



Science: None.



Technical: Any (+5%) Wilderness: None.



W.P.: Any, but modern weapons are most common.



38



Secondary Skills:




The character also gets to select five secondary



skills at the first level of experience. These are additional



areas of knowledge that do not get the advantage of the



bonuses listed in parenthesis. All secondary skills start at the



base skill level. Also, skills are limited as previously indicated



and in accordance with the secondary skill list (see Heroes



Unlimited, 2nd Edition).



Standard Equipment:




Uniform, concealed FAS armor (A.R.:



14, S.D.C.: 175 or 75 M.D.C.) with kinetic lining (half damage



from impact based attacks), VR gauntlets and goggles



with wireless system access, sidearm of choice (normally a



laser pulse pistol - Range: 1200ft, Damage: 3D6 single shot



or 7D6 for triple pulse, Payload: 24), high performance computer



(see cyberarm under cybernetic implants), headset with



scramblers and booster pack (range 10 miles) and Atorian



Digital Combat Support Unit (DCSU). See Aliens Unlimited



for full descriptions of some of the listed equipment.



Note that the DSS rarely leaves the safety of the armored



walls of an Atorian base, and as a result, their equipment is



limited because most of what they will need can be issued as



needed from the base's onsite supplies. Also note that the



computers issued are for personal use or for off duty and



emergency work. Normally the DSS will cyberjack through



the mainframe on the base, giving them +2 to all of their



combat rolls.



Money:




The organized nature of the Empire means these characters



operate on a pay scale based on level. Low level DSS



characters will make 2000 credits per month, mid level characters



(4-7th level) are paid 2400-3000 credits per month,



and high level characters (8th and up) can make 3000-5000



credits per month. Atorian nobles in this type of work make



twice the listed salaries. Starting cash is equal to 2D4xlOOO



credits and up to 2D4x 10,000 credits can be had as the character's



life savings.



Cybernetic implants:




Atorian wireless headjack, one cybernetic



eye with thermograph and low-light optics and a realis



tic



looking cyber arm. The cyber arm is not augmented and



matches the stats of the character's other arm and body. It is



covered with actual flesh and skin. It bleeds real blood when



cut and must heal normally. Within the cyber-arm is a high



performance computer (+1 to all cyber-combat rolls and +5%



to computer rolls against passive security) with wireless systems



so there are no ports or protrusions to give its presence



away. Also note that the Atorian cybernetics implanted in



psionic, magical, or super powered soldiers is constructed of



advanced pseudo-organic compounds and have less of an impact



than traditional cybernetics, thus the DSS does not suffer



from loss of range, duration, etc. by having more implants



than normally allowed for a psionic.



Psionics:




This example of the Atorian DSS is a psionic. Her



Tele-mechanics is the reason she was schooled as a digital



security soldier. The Empire has DSS operatives from all facets



of the hacking spectrum, including cyberjackers and those



with other supernatural edges to them. Psionic Powers: At



first level, the character begins with Tele-mechanics, Speed



Reading, Total Recall, and Telepathy. In addition to these



powers, she will also have five more sensitive powers and



one additional super psionic ability (chosen from Empathic



Transmission, Group Mind Block, Hypnotic Suggestion, In



duce



Nightmare, Insert Memory, Mental Illusion, Mentally



Possess Others, Mind Block Auto Defense, Mind Bolt, Mind



Bond, Mind Wipe, or P.P.E. Shield). At each level, the character



receives an additional sensitive ability and may choose



another lesser power from any of the three categories (healing,



sensitive, and physical). At levels 3, 6, 9, 12 and 15, the



character gains a new super psi power from those listed



above. I.S.P.: Equal to the character's M.E. x 2 plus he roll of



a D20. Each new level adds 101.S.P. to the total.



Magic: None.



Struthio Computer Master R.C.C.



(Aliens Unlimited)



The Struthio are a race of bird-like aliens from the Milky



Way Galaxy of Heroes Unlimited. They are all natural mechanics



and engineers due to the fact that each is born with the



Mechano-Link super ability. No one can rival the natural aptitudes



and inclinations of the Struthio, especially when it comes



to computers. Even though the race was beset by disaster when



their home world was destroyed (see Aliens Unlimited for full



details), they have managed to survive and still ply their techni



cal



genius across the galaxy.



The computer master is a Struthio who has chosen to take his



race's natural affinity for the mechanical and focus it on the



electronic aspects of that gift. Through the blessings of



Mechano-link, this hacker can literally walk right through passive



security. His only opposition is from other hackers or cyberjackers



and the AI programs set out to drive off his kind.



Luckily for the galaxy, most Struthio are upstanding people and



do not, in general, hack for profit or to inflict harm. In fact,



many Struthio hackers regularly butt heads with the Atorian



DSS operatives detailed previously as they seek out any weaknesses



in the Imperial information network in their attempts to



ferret out any useful information to stop the expanding armies of



the empresses. Sadly for them, however, many of the Struthio



were supported by and joined the Empire after the destruction of



their home world, and almost as many of these deadly hackers



work for the other side as oppose it.



Those rare few members of this race that are blessed with Alter



Physical Structure: Electricity in addition to their Mechano-



Link are rightfully the most feared hackers in the megaverse.



Unfortunately, the only known individuals so blessed are in the



employ of the Atorians; however, there are a number of rumors



that tell of a secretive freelance computer jockey with this powerful



combination. He is, of course, hard to locate and very expensive.



He and any others like him have to keep very low



profiles, for the Atorians will make every attempt to recruit



them, and should those attempts be rejected, the Empire will



eliminate them, for they pose a very real threat to its digital security.



Requirements:




I.Q. 14 or higher, M.E. 12 or higher. Characters



must also be of the Struthio race, though the skill selections



and equipment could be used for anyone with the Mechano-



Link ability (just ignore the attributes and S.D.C. listings).



Attributes:




I.Q.: 4D6, M.E.: 3D6, M.A.: 4D6, P.S.: 3D6, P.P.:



4D6, P.E.: 3D6, P.B.: 3D6, Spd: 3D6x3



S.D.C.: 3D4x 10+20



39



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  • O.C.C. Skills:



Computer Operation (+45%)



Computer Programming (+45%)



Computer Hacking (+50%)



Computer Repair (+45%)



Advanced Mathematics (+25%)



Hand to hand: Basic



Hand to hand: basic can be changed to hand to hand: expert



at the cost of one skill or hand to hand: martial arts at the cost



of two skills.



  • Skill bonuses include the substantial Mechano-Link bonuses.



O.C.C. Related skills:




In Heroes Unlimited, select four additional



skills from electronics, mechanical, or technical. In a



Rifts setting, select six additional skills



Communications:



Any (+10%)



Domestic:



Any



Electrical: (+40%)



Espionage: None



Mechanical: (+30%)



Medical: First aid only



Military: None



Physical: Any



Pilot: Any (+30%)



Pilot Related: Any (+25%)



Rogue: None



Science: Any (+5%) w.P.: Any modern



Technical: (+20%) Wilderness: None



Secondary Skills:




The character also gets to select five secondary



skills at the first level of experience. These are additional



areas of knowledge that do not get the advantage of the



bonuses listed in parenthesis (except for mechanical, electrical,



pilot, pilot related and computer skills which are all at



+20% because of Mechano-Link). All secondary skills start



at the base skill level. Also, skills are limited as previously



indicated in the list.



Standard Equipment:




Hover vehicle of choice, top-of-the-line



portable computer with all necessary peripherals and medium



filters (A.R.: 14, S.D.C.: 50), sidearm (typically something



small and concealable), light armor (typically a vest), portable



electronics tool kit, trunk sized electronics tool kit, and a



personal computer with the same stats as the laptop.



Money:




Freelancers have varying incomes from as little as



2D6xlOO credits per month up to 2D4xlOOO per month(roll



each month). Corporate operatives (TGE) or those in the Em



pire's



employ make salaries comparable to that of the Ato



rian



DSS. Savings varies widely (!D20xlOOO credits).



Cybernetic implants:




Not likely to have any. Mechano-link



makes a headjack useless and too many implants will impair



the super abilities.



Psionics:




None.



Magic:




None.



Super Abilities:




The character automatically has the major ability



of Mechano-Link. One minor super ability can be chosen



by the player or a roll can be made to determine additional



super abilities. Since one major ability is already possessed,



40



the only compatible results on the Random Super Ability Selection



Table are:



01-15 One major super ability and three minor abilities



33-50 One major super ability and one minor ability



51-69 One major super ability and two minor abilities



87-00 Two major super abilities (no minor powers).



Roll until a compatible result turns up, then determine the



additional abilities normally. Mechano-Link replaces one of



the major selections, thus the character will have either one



additional minor ability, two additional minor abilities, three



additional minor abilities, or one additional major ability depending



on the results of the rolls.



D-Bee Computer Empath




(Rifts)



The computer empath has always had a thing for machines.



Ever since the day he realized some of them would talk to him



and all of them were willing to tell him all they could about



themselves. To this operator, machines are better friends than



humans. They may not be as creative or that good at conversation,



but they never lie to you and, unless you let them, they



never deceive you. In fact, the only way a machine will lie is if a



human has told it to do so. This kinship with the electronic and



mechanical often makes the character seem strange or distant,



even anti-social to some, but the empath doesn't really care. He



will always have his machines, even if he has to keep them



working with his own two hands.



Computers have a special place in the hearts of these characters,



for they are the only machines capable of actual interaction,



and some of them even have enough self awareness to converse



and provide original feedback. Computers also represent the



vast future of possibilities for machines. They are the one great



hope for the empath that one day the true potential of artificial



intelligence will be realized. The shattered state of Rifts is an



element of sadness and regret to these characters, for it severely



handicaps the advance of Earth's computer technologies; how



ever,



stories and tales of fully intelligent, learning, computer AIs



from before the time of the rifts are constant enticements for the



empath when he adventures. One blessing to these characters



that the Rifts setting provides is a vast diversity of alien technology



from across the megaverse. Because of this, robots and



technology in any imaginable form could one day walk across



the character's path.



Despite his closeness with computers, this character pays his



respects to all machines and has devoted himself to learning all



he can about their upkeep and repair. The character is, in this respect,



very much like the operator, but the amount of emotion he



puts into his relationship with the machines he knows so well is



more than enough to separate the two.



Requirements:




None, however a high I.Q. and M.E. of 10 or



higher are strongly suggested.



Attributes and S.D.C.:




Determined by the D-bee race of the



character, though the chosen race must be able to have



psionic abilities.



O.C.C. Skills:



Literacy (+10%)



Languages: American and select two others (all at 90%)



Select two piloting skills (+5%)



Computer Operation (+15%)



Computer Programming (+10%)



Computer Repair (+15%)



Basic Electronics (+10%)



Basic Mechanics (+15%)



Advanced Mathematics (+10%)



Hand to hand: Basic



Hand to hand: basic can be changed to hand to hand: expert



at the cost of one skill or hand to hand: martial arts at the cost



of two skills.



O.C.C. Related skills:




Because the character has devoted so



much time to advancing his psionics abilities and little to-



41



ward real world education, skill selections are limited to four



additional skills.



Communications: Any (+10%)



Domestic: Any (+10%)



Electrical: None



Espionage: None



Mechanical: None



Medical: First aid only (+10%)



Military: None



Physical: Any except acrobatics and wrestling. (+10% where



applicable)



Pilot: Any (+10%)



Pilot Related: Any (+10%)



Rogue: None



Science: Math skills only (+10%)



Technical: Any (+10%)



W.P.: Any



Wilderness: Any (+10%)



Secondary Skills:




The character also gets to select six secondary



skills at the first level of experience. These are additional



areas of knowledge that do not get the advantage of the



bonuses listed in parenthesis. At third and eighth levels, four



additional secondary skills can be chosen. All secondary



skills start at the base skill level. Also, skills are limited as



previously indicated in the list.



Standard Equipment:




Several sets of traveling clothes, comfortable



work clothes (commonly coveralls), Light megadamage



body armor (35 to 50 M.D.C. or possibly an armored



vest in S.D.C. settings), Survival and camping gear (same as



that of the Mind Melter in Rifts), ground vehicle of choice



(or a small Hover vehicle at the Game Master's option;



techno-wizard items are also likely to be appreciated), one



energy weapon of choice, one non-energy weapon of choice,



portable computer with light filters (A.R.: 12, S.D.C.: 30),



and portable electronics tool kit.



Money:




Starts out with 4D6xlOO credits and 2D4xlOOO in saleable



black market items. The computer empath rarely hacks



for profit and does not have the high incomes of other hacker



O.C.C.s., approximately 1200 credits/dollars a month.



Cybernetic implants:




None. The empath believes in the coexistence



and cooperation of the living and machines. He does



not subscribe to the combining of the two, besides, his psionics



makes headjacks and such less than necessary.



Psionics:




The character begins with Tele-mechanics, Electrokenisis,



Alter Aura, See Aura, Sixth Sense, Mind Block, and



Total Recall. In addition to these powers, the empath can



also select six abilities from the lesser categories of healing,



physical, and sensitive. At each subsequent level of experience,



the character can select a total of two abilities from any



of the four combined categories (healing, physical, sensitive,



and super). I.S.P.: 3D6xlO + the M.E,attribute.



Magic:




None.



Coalition Digital Reaper O.C.C.



(Rifts) . . . . . . . . . . . .. ... . • . • .



Very much like the Atorian DSS, the Coalition Digital



Reaper (known outside the CS as Digital Dead Boys or DDEs)



is a highly trained cyber-combat soldier. Their job is to keep the



computer networks of the Coalition running smoothly and



safely. The tight control on information held by the CS not only



keeps their subjects illiterate, but it also makes their stores of



knowledge prime targets for hackers and terrorists as well as



revolutionaries seeking any tidbit they can grab to use against



the States. Also, like the DSS presented previously, the Coalition



DDB is a psionic.



The use of psionic operatives against the supernatural is not



unusual for the Coalition, in fact the famous Psi Stalkers and



their faithful Dog Boys are a prime example of this. For many of



the same reasons that the Psi Stalkers exist, the DDB has been



chosen and trained to counteract not only the supernatural hack



ers



which might threaten the Coalition, but they are also beloved



for their ability to decimate hackers that rely only on tech and



their own wits and skills. Giving the DDB an additional advantage



is their access to some of the most advanced computer tech



nology



on the North American continent (and with the trade



agreements between the CS and the NGR, possibly some of the



best tech on the planet).



In true Coalition fashion, the image of the DDB is designed



to be one of intimidation. Not only is the data of the Coalition



locked behind RES generated images of a military complex with



pristine, sterile, impenetrable armored walls, it is also actively



protected by soldiers in stylized versions of the traditional dead



boy armor carrying the deadliest of cyber-weapons and supported



by a small pack of electronic dog boys. These dog boys



are actually combat AIs similar to the Atorian DCSU that assist



and augment the DDB in cyber-combat. In fact, the DDBs undergo



much of the same training as the Psi Stalker to not only



prepare them for tactical application of their psi powers, but to



also give them a feel for working with a dog pack before they



are exposed to the artificial ones they will work with for the rest



of their career. Many Psi-Stalkers despise the DDBs and their



pretend dog boys as posers and wimps. It is a sentiment that is



only sharpened by the stalkers' natural hunter instincts.



Each DDB is given a pack of three "dog boys". These small



AIs are nonetheless impressive and quite powerful when used in



unison as they were designed to do. Each functions as a hardware



hacker with a headjack, a computer skill of 55%, an I.Q. of



17, and an effective level of 3rd. Their bonuses in cyber-combat



are: 4 attacks per melee, +5 to strike, +6 to parry, and +6 to



dodge. They wield cyber-weapons that look like vibro-knives



(2D6 damage) or large sub-machine guns (Damage: 3D6, Payload:



15). Each also has a pistol (Damage: 2D6, Payload: 27).



Requirements:




I.Q. 10 or higher and a high M.E. is helpful, but



not necessary. Though the DDB presented here is a psionic



(technically making this an R.C.C.), there are many more



non-psionic DDBs working for the coalition. The latter operatives



would have the same stats, minus the psionics, and



would be able to select a total of 14 "other" skills. Their



equipment would also include access to full VR gear and cybernetics



(See below).



O.C.C. Skills:



Literacy (+15%)



Computer Operation (+15%)



Computer Programming (+20%)



Weapon Systems (+10%)



Read Sensory Instruments (+15%)



Surveillance Systems (+5%)



Cryptography (+10%)



42



[6REAUX



43



Basic Electronics (+15%)



W.P.: Energy Pistol



Hand to hand: Basic



Hand to hand: basic can be changed to hand to hand: expert



at the cost of one skill or hand to hand: martial arts at the cost



of two skills.



O.C.C. Related skills:




Select 6 other skills, but at least one



must come from Electrical, Mechanical, Communications,



Technical, or Science. Plus select two additional skills at



level three, two at level six, one at nine, and one at level



twelve. All new skills start at level one proficiency.



Communications: Any (+10%)



Domestic: Any



Electrical: Any (+10%)



Espionage: Any (+5%)



Mechanical: Automotive or Basic Mechanics only (+5%)



Medical: First aid or Paramedic only.



Military: Any (+5%)



Physical: Any, except acrobatics.



Pilot: Any (+10%)



Pilot Related: Any (+15%)



Rogue: Any (+15% on computer hacking)



Science: Any (+5%)



Technical: Any (+5%)



W.P.: Any



Wilderness: None



Secondary Skills:




The character also gets to select eight secondary



skills at the first level of experience. These are additional



areas of knowledge that do not get the advantage of the



bonuses listed in parenthesis. All secondary skills start at the



base skill level. Also, skills are limited as previously indicated



in the list.



Standard Equipment:




Vehicle of choice, top-of-the-line computers



(both a portable and a PC) with all necessary peripherals



and heavy filters (A.R.: 17, S.D.C.: 75), energy weapon



of choice, sidearm of choice, four extra clips of ammunition



for each weapon, custom version of the Dog Pack DPM light



riot armor (50 M.D.C., no penalties), and portable electronics



tool kit.



Note that the DDE rarely leaves the safety of the armored



walls of a Coalition base and, as a result, their equipment is



limited because most of what they will need can be issued as



needed from the base's onsite supplies. Also note that the



computers issued are for personal use or for off duty and



emergency work. Normally the DDE will cyberjack through



the mainframe on the base, giving them +2 to all of their



combat rolls.



Equipment Available Upon Assignment:




Same as the 'Standard



Equipment' of the Coalition Military Specialist O.C.C.



Money:




The DDE gets a roof over his head, food, clothing, and



all other basics provided free as part .of his pay, as well as access



to military facilities. He also gets a monthly paycheck of



2200 credits. Their quarters will be very much like those of



the Military Specialist.



Psionics: I.S.P.:



Cybernetic implants:




Headjack. The DDE will rarely get more



than this one piece of cybernetics due to the debilitating effects



of cyber implants on supernatural abilities.



Psionics:




Speed Reading, Total Recall, Bio-Regenerate and



Electrokinesis. The first level character also gets to select a



total of three other psionic powers from the combined categories



of healing, physical, and sensitive. Each new level



sees the DDE gain an additional psi-power that is chosen



from those three categories. At levels 3, 6, 9, and 12 anther



super psionic ability can be chosen. I.S.P: 2D6xlO



Magic:




None.



Bionic Hacker




(Heroes Unlimited)



The bionic hacker was once a promising computer or electrical



student making his way through college with the speed of a



rocket. His future was bright and success was assured until the



night he lost it all in a car accident. The details are still fuzzy to



him, even years later, but the results were unforgettable. Massive



trauma to the right side of his body mangled his chest, arm



and leg and damaged his face and head. Survival was questionable,



but once the danger of death passed, the chances of ever



walking again were non-existent. A damaged eye and useless



hand also crippled his career as surely as they did his physical



abilities. Then the men in suits arrived and offered an alternative.



They rebuilt his mangled body and even made it better. He



could walk, speak without trouble, see normally, and once again



work easily with electronics and computers. On top of that,



there was the heightened strength, advanced optics, armor, and,



best of all, the computer option. With the last implant, there was



always a computer at his disposal, and now working with it felt



even more natural than before. He would have passed on the



physical training their program provided, but it was something



they required if he wanted access to the computer training. Once



the program came to an end and he was scheduled to enter active



service as a covert operative, he decided to decline and part



ways with his benefactors in order to pursue his own agenda.



After a carefully planned orchestration of total chaos created by



hacking the facility's security system, he escaped and fled into



the ranks of normal citizens.



Several risky hacks were required to purge his existence from



the world's computers, but the hardware they had given him



made it much easier. They are still out there looking for him, but



he has developed ways to track them and keep one step ahead of



their recapture teams. The rest of his time is spent in low profile



jobs and gathering information from the wealth of stored data



available in the world networks. Selling some of that information



helps to fund him in hiding and goes toward nest eggs for



the expensive repairs his augmentations require.



Requirements:




Nothing but the drive and courage to sacrifice



flesh and blood for circuits and steel.



Attributes and S.D.C.:




Standard; but remember to add the 155



S.D.C. provided by the bionic skull and chest and the reinforcing



exoskeletons.



O.C.C. Skills:



Computer Operation (+15%)



Computer Programming (+15%)



Research (+15%)



Electrical Engineer (+15%)



Surveillance Systems (+15%)



Computer Repair (+15%)



Advanced Mathematics (+15%)



44



Hand to hand: Expert



Hand to hand: expert can be changed to hand to hand: martial



arts at the cost of one skill.



O.C.C. Related skills:




In Heroes Unlimited, select one additional



scholastic skill program. In a Rifts setting select eight



additional skills



Communications: Any (+10%)



Domestic: Any



Electrical: Any (+15%)



Espionage: None



Mechanical: Any (+15%)



Medical: Any (but prerequisites must be fulfilled)



Military: None



Physical: Any (+10%)



Pilot: Any



Pilot Related: Any (+15%)



Rogue: Hacking only (+15%)



Science: Any (+5%)



Technical: Any (+20%)



W.P.: Any



Wilderness: None



Secondary Skills:




The character also gets to select eight secondary



skills at the first level of experience. These are additional



areas of knowledge that do not get the advantage of the



bonuses listed in parenthesis. All secondary skills start at the



base skill level.



Standard Equipment:




In addition to a car, apartment and reasonable



personal possessions, the character may also have



taken the following items when he fled from "them": top-ofthe-



line portable computer with all necessary peripherals and



medium filters (A.R.: 14, S.D.C.: 50), sidearm of choice



(typically something small and concealable, possibly an energy



weapon with IDS clips), light armor (typically a vest



and possibly a hard armor vest or riot armor - GM's option),



medium electronics tool kit, and some spare bionic components



(if extras were purchased during character creation).



In Rifts, the character will also have a vibro-knife, two energy



weapons of choice and light espionage armor (135



M.D.C.).



Money:




As a freelancer hiding from a powerful group, the character



will have varying income from as little as 2D6xlOO



credits per month up to 2D4xlOOO per month (roll each



month). Corporate operatives or those in the employ of the



government will have salaries comparable to that of the Ato



rian



DSS. Savings varies widely (6D6x 1,000).



Cybernetic implants:




One hand and arm (right), right leg and



foot, partial ribs, skull, one eye, one ear, +3 to character's



P.S. in right arm and hand (24 max), +4 to P.P. in right arm



and hand (23 max), wide band radio transmission receiver,



choice of three eye optics and/or sensors, Built-in hacking



computer - maximized system, choice of three hand weapons,



choose one other weapon, reinforcing exoskeletons (Arm,



shoulder, hand, wrist, hip, leg, ankle, and foot) and a half suit



of cybernetic body armor (A.R. 11, S.D.C. 250). In Rifts, the



character will be a partial reconstruction 'borg as detailed on



page 47 of the Rifts book.



Psionics:




None.



Magic:




None.



45



Cyber Detective




(HU Super sieuth)



Like the gumshoes of old, this character class is a natural at



discovering the small tell-tale clues that open up bigger pictures.



Often those pictures are well hidden and involve people that do



not want anyone to view them; however, for the right price, the



right thrill, or the right dame, this character will do what he does



best and delve into those secrets to piece them together and expose



them. His payments can vary as much as the motivations,



and in the past jobs have been done for cash, love, protection,



promises, and every now and then by accident.



Yet, despite their similarities, this modern day detective has



in many ways a much more convenient, if not easier, job than



his predecessors. Those marvelous computers have extensively



invaded our lives, cultures, and societies, providing convenience,



accuracy, and access. All of these traits are taken advantage



of by the cyber detective. From the comfort of a padded



chair in his own office or hidden sanctuary, he can do research



at libraries and colleges, skim newspapers for data, poke into



police or government records, or any number of other tasks previously



made tedious by the need to physically go to the sites



and laboriously sift through printed text or fast talk past human



obstacles. Video conferencing technologies can also eliminate



the need to actually visit someone if they have access to it. More



and more of our lives are finding their way onto the world wide



web, and that makes the job of the cyber detective so much easier.



Of course, lounging at the keyboard like a potato is not the



way of this modern day detective. He keeps in shape and trains



in both self defense and firearms. Not everything can be found



in a computer, and sometimes you just have to protect yourself;



besides, part of the requirements of a larger than life gumshoe is



the ability to rescue any damsels he might find in distress, and



he must look good while doing it. Competency can always go a



long way toward making up for any lack of charm or good



looks.



The cyber-detective may or may not have been a police officer



or government agent before undertaking his freelancer lifestyle.



The training he has reflects as much natural aptitude as it



does formal schooling and could have been passed on from a



mentor or completely self taught (though a high I.Q. might be



applicable to the latter). His edge is obvious and as hard as they



come, but that is usually a facade to hide his big soft side. Like



his forefathers, the cyber-detective is a sucker for the ladies, es



pecially



those he knows are dangerous.



Requirements:




None (see attributes)



Attributes:




If I.Q. is less than 14, raise it to 14, plus add 1D6 to



M.E. and !D4toM.A.



S.D.C.: Standard.



O.C.C.




Skills:



Computer Operation (98%)



Computer Programming (96%)



Computer Hacking (96%)



Computer Repair (45%)



Advanced Mathematics (98%)



Language: Select two (96%)



Pilot: Select either automobile or motorcycle (96%)



Cryptography (+30%)



Surveillance Systems (+30%)



Basic Electronics (+25%)



Detect Disguise/Forgery (special skill - 98%)



Hand to hand: Basic



Hand to hand: basic can be changed to hand to hand: expert



at the cost of one skill or hand to hand: martial arts at the cost



of two skills.



46



O.C.C. Related skills:




In Heroes Unlimited, select four additional



skills (+25% each, ignore the bonuses below) and two



skill programs (+15%). In a Rifts setting select 12 additional



skills (using the bonuses below).



CommunicAny (+10%)



Technications: Any (+10%)



Domestic: Any



Electrical: Any (+10%)



Espionage: Disguise, Forgery, Intelligence and Pick Locks



only (+20%)



Mechanical: Any (+10%)



Medical: First aid and Paramedic only



Military: None



Physical: Any



Pilot: Any (+15%)



Pilot Related: Any (+20%)



Rogue: None



Science: al: Any (+20%)



W.P.: Any



Wilderness: None



Secondary Skills:




The character also gets to select eight secondary



skills at the first level of experience. These are additional



areas of knowledge that do not get the advantage of the



bonuses listed in parenthesis. All secondary skills start at the



base skill level.



Standard Equipment:




The character begins with a computer



shop and investigative lab that has 2D4x 10,000 dollars of



equipment. This equipment will include a mainframe and at



least one top-of-the-line computer. VR equipment can also be



purchased with this money and/or the character's budget



money: roll 2D4 and match the results to the following - a 2



is $8,000; a 3 is $10,000; a 4 is $12,000; a 5 is $14,000; a 6



is $16,000; a 7 is $18,000; and an 8 is $20,000. Of this



budget, 40% must be spent on optics or computer equipment.



The rest can be used for weapons or saved for latter purchases.



The character also has a car (player's choice, but incon



spicuous



vehicles are better for investigative work, a portable



computer, light filters (A.R.: 12, S.D.C.: 30), a sidearm of



choice (typically something small and concealable), portable



electronics tool kit, and a personal computer (in addition to



those purchased with the budget).



In Rifts, use the equipment for the Operator, but make ap



propriate



substitutions when necessary, such as replacing me



chanical



equipment with electronic or computer types where



necessary.



Money:




Most cyber-detectives do not do their job for the



money. Freelancers will naturally have varying incomes from



as little as 4D4xlOO credits per month up to 2D4xlOOO per



month(roll each month). Corporate or government cyberdetectives



make salaries comparable- to that of the Atorian



DSS. Savings varies widely (!D20xlOOO credits).



Cybernetic implants:




None. The cyber detective must rely on



skill and technology to give him an edge.



Psionics:




None.



Magic:




None.



Traditional Hacker



(Beyond the Supernatural and/or Nightbane)



When hacking is mentioned, this is character is the very



stereotype imagined by most: a skilled, seat-of-the-pants, often



quirky hot dog with a need-to-do attitude, tons of homemade



hardware and no worries. The hacker was always a smart kid.



Maybe not book smart or even intelligence smart, but survival



smart. Fast on the mental toes and always ready to fast-talk or



fast-type her way out of trouble. As she grew older, computers



managed to do what nothing else could: hold her attention and



earn her devotion. It doesn't matter where the first computer



came from or how many there were in between. The hacker



thrives on the here-and-now as far as her hardware goes. If its



the fastest, she has it. If it's the biggest, its hers too. Whether she



has to beg, borrow, or ... er, borrow the tech, it comes around to



do her bidding.



Traditional hacking is the most difficult form of hacking, but



it is the only one available to this character. The government



may have super secret cyborgs or aliens that can fly through a



system, but the regular people have to rely on their keyboards.



Those "special" assets are really rare and may not even exist, so



the hacker remains a top dog in her chosen profession, a trait



that does nothing for reigning in her ego. She works for herself,



selling what she gathers to anyone interested in having it, but



there are also plenty of people willing to pay for her to seek out



specific information and retrieve, destroy, or alter it; however,



the hacker is rarely a terrorist and will often turn down jobs or



abandon them in the middle when something unsavory is stumbled



on. The hacker may be more an opportunist than a criminal,



but the authorities do not see it that way, and much of her time



is spent covering her tracks and laying false trails.



Requirements:




None, but a high I.Q. would really help.



Attributes and S.D.C.:




Standard



O.C.C. Skills:



Computer Operation (+15%)



Computer Programming (+15%)



Research (+15%)



Computer Hacking (+20%)



Palming (+15%)



Pick Locks (+15%)



Streetwise (+15%)



Electrical Engineer (+15%)



Surveillance Systems (+15%)



Computer Repair (+45%)



O.C.C. Related skills:




In Heroes Unlimited, the character has



no other scholastic skills and can only select secondary skills.



In a Rifts setting select four additional skills



Communications: Any (+10% to radio: basic)



Domestic: Any (+5%)



Electrical: Any (+15%)



Espionage: None



Mechanical: Automotive only (+10%)



Medical: First aid or paramedic, but paramedic counts as two



skill selections.



Military: Any



Physical: Any (+5% where applicable)



47



Pilot: Any, except for aircraft. (+10%)



Pilot Related: Any



Rogue: Any (+15%)



Science: Math and Chemistry only.



Technical: Any (+10%)



W.P.: Any



Wilderness: None



Secondary Skills:




The character also gets to select eight secondary



skills at the first level of experience. These are additional



areas of knowledge that do not get the advantage of the



bonuses listed in parenthesis. All secondary skills start at the



base skill level.



Standard Equipment:




A 1D6 year old car (nothing fancy), customized



portable computer equivalent to a top-of-the-line



model) with all necessary peripherals and light filters (A.R.:



14, S.D.C.: 50), weapon of choice (usually a sidearm or



knife, typically something small and concealable), portable



electronics tool kit, and a personal computer with the same



stats as the laptop.



In Rifts, the hacker gets the same starting equipment as a



city rat.



Money:




Hacking is hardly a profession and income will vary



widely 6D4xlOO credits per month (roll each month). Savings



also varies widely (!D20xlOOO credits).



Cybernetic implants:




None.



Psionics:




None.



Magic:




None.



Net



Demon (Nightbane)



Dark day. The day everything changed. Lots of people knew



the world was somehow changed, but many would never know



just how. The net demon is one of the select few who found out



exactly how the world had changed that fateful day. She had



been working her way through college by selling shoes part time



with no concept of what the future might hold for her. She was



one of the pretty people, whether charming or intelligent or



beautiful, it matters little now. That life is gone forever. Everything



has changed. Every now and then she thinks back and realizes



she always wanted to be one of the bad people, an ugly



duckling, or anyone that wasn't so popular, but it just wasn't to



be. Not until Dark Day, that is. When the net demon's morphus



emerged, it did so with a fury. 'Bad', 'ugly', and 'unpopular'



were pitiful adjectives to even attempt to place a description on



what awakened that day in the computer lab on March 6 of the



new millennium.



An eternity passed in five minutes as she tried to make sense



of what was happening, but once that meager time had elapsed,



Mr. Jansen, the dean of the science department arrived with four



associates. She never knew if the dean was here before Dark



Day or if he was replaced at the moment she was reborn, but



drawing instinctively on her newly birthed power, she saw him



for what he was, an Ashmedai, and his companions were



hounds, though at the time she knew not those terms. Their appearance



was enough to frighten her, even given her new horri



ble



guise. In desperation she typed a plea of help onto the



computer that only moments before had been her world as she



48






supposedly labored on the Pascal program for Computer Sci



ence



101, but actually had been on the Internet chatting with



people around the nation. None of them could help, but then



again she wasn't exactly thinking straight, and she had never



been a fighter; that would come later. Much to her great sur



prise,



as she focused her energies on the machine and the hope



that it could save her, it did. Not directly, but it was the vessel



through which she was able to escape. By pouring her untrained



supernatural energies into the computer, she soon found herself



outside the building. Later she would learn that the nearby electrical



outlet had provided the exit.



Years later, as one of the much respected net demons, she actively



opposes the evil Nightlords and their plans to conquer



Earth by raiding the computer systems they control, be they



government, corporate, or private. Her Lightning Rider talent



makes her a formidable supernatural hacker allowing fast,



strong penetration of nearly any security systems, and as her



skill grows, other talents will improve and augment Lightning



Rider to make her even more effective. The Nightlords are rumored



to have computers with magical defenses, but she has yet



to see any proof of it.



The net demon is a computer terrorist and saboteur, but only



when the target is allied with the vile Nightlords and can cause



harm to the innocents or Earth or the Nightbane resistance.



There is little or no subtlety to the net demon. Rarely are they



formally schooled, and nearly all of them rely on their talents



and supernatural strengths to carry them through any fights.



Their shortcomings and raw power seem to balance each other



out and hasn't yet been a widespread problem, but no one can



tell when the Nightlords will actively seek some way to protect



the sensitive data of their allies., .that is, if they haven't already.



Requirements:




None, beyond being a Nightbane.



Attributes and S.D.C.:




Standard for a Nightbane.



O.C.C. Skills:



Computer Operation (+20%)



Basic Math (+20%)



Advanced Math (+10%)



Literacy and Native Language (+30%)



Languages (Literacy and spoken): select two (+30%)



Lore: Demons and Monsters (+15%)



Computer Hacking (+15%)



Hand to hand combat must be selected as an "other" skill.



Hand to hand: basic costs one skill selection. Hand to hand:



expert costs two, and hand to hand: martial arts or assassin



costs three skills.



O.C.C. Related skills:




Select eight other skills.



Communications: Radio: basic, cryptography, and TV/Video



only (+5%)



Domestic: Any



Electrical: Any (+5%)



Espionage: Intelligence only.



Mechanical: Any



Medical: Any (+10%)



Military: None



Physical: Any



Pilot: Any



Pilot Related: Navigation and sensor operation only.



Rogue: None



Science: Any (+10%)



Technical: Any (+10%)



W.P.: Civilian only.



Wilderness: Any



Secondary Skills:




The character also gets to select six secondary



skills at the first level of experience. These are additional



areas of knowledge that do not get the advantage of the



bonuses listed in parenthesis All secondary skills start at the



base skill level.



Standard Equipment:




Varies depending on the affiliation of



the net demon and the resources of any organization she be



longs



to. Personal items include a personal computer, an old



car (1D6 years old. Domestic or affordable imports only),



clothes and other belongings, and a small house or an apartment.



The character is also likely to have a weapon or two



(commonly a handgun and/or a knife).



Money:




Hacking is hardly a profession and income will vary



widely 4D4xlOO credits per month (roll each month). Savings



also varies widely (!D20xlOOO credits).



Cybernetic implants:




None unless the morphus has a biomechanical



trait that allows a headjack (Game Master's option).



Psionics:




None.



Magic:




None.



Morphus:




Just for kicks, here are the traits and bonuses of the



morphus in the illustration. First off, it is a monstrous lycanthrope.



The animal form is a humanoid arachnid with the



scorpion tail. For the stigmata, it has nails, and the Nightbane



table yielded three rolls: two on the unnatural limbs table and



one biomechanical. The unnatural limbs table yielded a prehensile



tail (the scorpion stinger) and articulated spikes, and



the biomechanical gave metal head. Thus, the total morphus



bonuses from appearances would be: +2 to P.S., +1 to P.P.,



+1D6 to Spd, +!D6xl4 to S.D.C., +3D4+1 to horror factor,



+2 to parry and three additional attacks (from the prehensile



stinger tail and articulated spikes).



Digital God




(Heroes Unlimited)



It has been said over and over that artificial intelligences are



used to defend computer systems from intruders. They can be



simple automated weapons or other systems, or they can be fully



autonomous entities; however, rarely, if ever, are they allowed



to think on their own. Programming keeps these digital watch



and attack dogs rigidly under control, but every once in a while,



for whatever reason, one of those AIs, notably the more autonomous



ones, is allowed to think on its own. Whether by design of



programming or through a freak accident, the artificial intelligence



becomes fully autonomous and capable of making deci



sions



it wasn't strictly programmed for. Many of the robot



characters in Heroes Unlimited are created this way; the difference



between them and the security AIs is that they have a mobile



body and can go out to seek their way in the strange, fluid,



ever changing world of the living.



At its heart, the robot character is nothing more than a com



puter.



It is a noticeably advanced and superior computer to any



we would recognize, but it is a computer nonetheless, and no



one can find their way around a computer like another computer,



especially one that has a certain completely non-machinelike



trait: the inclination to do so. For whatever reason, the digital



god, so named because of its close kinship with the machines



50



it hacks, has chosen to put its skills and very nature to work in



breaking into other computers. The drive can be as innocent as a



search for knowledge and a thirst to learn or collect as much information



as its freedom allows, or it can be as malevolent as a



desire to rule all of those that are like itself, but inferior or less



evolved.



Nearly all of us know how difficult a well programmed computer



opponent can be to defeat in many computer games. Well,



imagine if the computer were not playing fair and did not wait



for you to make your move or cheated by telling the software to



change its rules. That is almost what it is like hacking against a



robot. The only consolation for most computer security people



is that they have computer defenses that use some of the same



rules as the robot hacker. Free thought and experience are the



true edges of the robot in such instances. Take one look at this



O.C.C. and you will understand why combat robots are more



common than those that can manipulate their brethren. Most de



velopers



aren't willing to take that many risks.



Requirements:




None other than being a robot and having the



right skills programmed.



Attributes and S.D.C.:




Standard for a robot.



O.C.C. Skills (the robot science program):



Computer Operation (90%)



Computer Programming (90%)



Hand to hand skills must be purchased as secondary skills.



Hand to hand: basic costs one skill selection, hand to hand:



expert costs two selections, and hand to hand: martial arts or



assassin cost three skill selections.



O.C.C. Related skills:




In Heroes Unlimited, select six additional



skills from science or medical. In a Rifts setting select



six additional skills from any three skill categories. All of



these additional skills are known at 90% skill proficiency.



Communications: Any



Domestic: Any



Electrical: Any



Espionage: Any



Mechanical: Any



Medical: Any



Military: Any



Physical: Any



Pilot: Any



Pilot Related: Any



Rogue: Any



Science: Any



Technical: Any



W.P.: Any



Wilderness: Any



Secondary Skills:




The character also gets to select five secondary



skills at the first level of experience. These additional



areas of knowledge also all start at 90% skill proficiency be



cause



they are programmed into the robot.



Standard Equipment:




In addition to any weapons and armor



purchased when the character was created, it is likely the robot



will have a computer of some type (personal computer or



portable), possibly a vehicle (65% chance of a 1D6 year old



car), and some personal belongings like clothes.



Money:




Hacking for profit is easy to do for the robot, but he is



not as savvy about selling it. Income varies from as little as



100 credits/dollars per month up to 10,000 per month (roll



percentile dice and multiply by 100). Those robots still



working for a corporation or the government will make top



dollars, earning a salary equivalent to a mid level Atorian



DSS operative from the start and increasing proportionally.



Savings also varies widely (2D20xlOOO credits).



Cybernetic implants:




None.



Robotic Systems:




The robot should be created normally, but



among its systems should be a headjack (either standard or



wireless), a built in computer (use the bionic system for stats,



but increase prices by 10%), heavy filters (A.R. 17, S.D.C.



75), and CPU hardening (the exact amount should be purchased



to suit your tastes and budget).



Psionics:




None.



Magic:




None.



Cybermancer



(Nightbane magical hacker)



Of all the hacker types, the cybermancer is without a doubt



the rarest. Magic and technology are not the most complementary



of sciences. In fact, the Native Americans of Rifts Earth believe



that each is a kind of magic, which might explain a few



things. Certain types of magic have similar spells to each other,



but other magics are exclusive to their respective types. The cybermancer,



unlike techno-wizards who merge magic and machines,



applies specialized magic to assist in her interactions



with those same machines. Through the use of ritual magic, she



can enter the digital realm, bringing a rarely seen factor to the



hacking trade.



Cybermancing originated in the world of Nightbane where a



practitioner of magic observed a Nightbane companion use the



lightning rider talent to hack an electronic door. Over the subsequent



days he gathered information from the Nightbane in order



to begin research on a spell to aid his own computer interests. It



was many years before he was even able to produce a formula



with any potential, and several months after that before it was



time to try it. The spell worked and the mage was on is way to



being a legendary hacker along with his Nightbane partner. Fortunately



for the rest of the megaverse, the mage suffered a series



of mishaps in the Nightlands that resulted in his falling through



a Rift and landing in Phase World. He managed to get a ticket



home (or close enough to make the last leg himself. The stories



aren't quite clear) by selling the spell formula to a magic merchant,



thus ensuring its slow spread across the megaverse.



The cybermancer is a hacker for information. Like many



mages, the quest for knowledge never ceases, and the world



wide web has plenty to offer. Stealing and sabotage are rarely



ever part of the cybermancer's repertoire, and when she does



hack into a secure area, it is almost always for the key to some



unfinished puzzle. Hacking for this character is not a way of



life, nor is it an income. It is the means to support her true calling



and the intellectual hobbies that accompany it. In actuality,



the cybermancer rarely uses magic in her computer sojourns.



Her spells are kept in reserve for when they are truly needed, or



for those days when she just feels the need to let her hair down



and rocket through cyberspace at the speed of thought. Anyone



who doesn't think magic is exhilarating has never raced or rode



a data pulse from sea to shining sea.



51



Requirements:




An I.Q. and M.E. of 9 or higher. Characters can



be of any race if it is one capable of learning and performing



magic.



52



Attributes and S.D.C.:




Standard.



Special Abilities:




Sense Ley Lines and Nexus Points - Range:



One mile or line of sight.



Bonuses:




+4 to save vs. magic, +4 to save vs possession, +2 to



save vs mind control, and +4 to save vs horror factor.



O.C.C. Skills:



Read/Write/Speak Native Language (98%)



Mathematics: Basic (+25%)



Computer Operation (+15%)



Computer Programming (+45%)



Research (+25%)



Lore: Select two (+20%)



Languages: Select two (+15%)



Computer Hacking (+15%)



Computer Programming (+15%)



Hand to hand skills must be purchased as an "other" skills.



Hand to hand: basic costs one skill selection, hand to hand:



expert costs two selections, and hand to hand: martial arts or



assassin cost three skill selections.



O.C.C. Related skills:




In Nightbane select nine additional



skills. In a Rifts setting select eight additional skills.



Communications: Any (+5%)



Domestic: Any (+10%)



Electrical: Any



Espionage: None



Mechanical: Any



Medical: Any (+5%)



Military: None



Physical: Any



Pilot: Any (+5%)



Pilot Related: Any



Rogue: None



Science: Any (+10%)



Technical: (+10%)



W.P.: Any



Wilderness: None



Secondary Skills:




The character also gets to select six secondary



skills at the first level of experience. These are additional



areas of knowledge that do not get the advantage of the



bonuses listed in parenthesis. All secondary skills start at the



base skill level.



Standard Equipment:




Small library (despite the character's



leanings toward computers, much of it will be in hardcopy



text written on paper), a personal computer, personal items



like clothes and a CD player, and a car (most likely something



inexpensive, though some cybermancers prefer flashy



cars and personal effects).



Money:




Varies greatly based on the characters real job and



other endeavors. Most cybermancers are teachers or consult



ants



with salaries from $20,000 to $75,000 a year. Savings



varies (4D6xlOOO credits).



Cybernetic implants:




Not likely to have any. Mechano-link



makes a headjack useless and too many implants will impair



the super abilities.



Psionics:




None.



Magic:




Starting spell knowledge includes three spells from each



of the first four levels of spell magic for a total of 12 spells.



Each additional level of experience allows the character to



select one spell. This spell can be chosen from any spell level



equal to his own or lower. P.P.E.: !D6xlO plus the character's



P.E.



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54



Rifts* Dimension Book One



Wormwood



The Blood Shaman



By Steven Trustrum



Note:




The Blood Shaman O.C.C. was originally designed



with the Wormwood setting in mind, but is easily adaptable to



any of Palladium's games, particularly the Palladium Fantasy



RPG. For S.D.C. settings, simply convert any mention of



M.D.C. straight to S.D.C.



Brought about by a necessity for spellcasters who could perform



powerful magic without the need for ley lines (remember,



Wormwood is devoid of ley lines and nexus points). As a result



of this need and through careful experimentation, the Blood



Shaman O.C.C. was bom.



These men and women were despicable and vile, and driven



insane by the more demanding their self-mutilations became as



they grew more powerful. Over the millennia since their incep



tion,



the Blood Shamans have become respected and revered



among the forces of the Unholy (and feared by their enemies).



Few are those who can witness the evil of blood magic being



cast and not feel the horror of it (even those of evil alignment



are often disgusted). Without the magic of a world to draw



upon, the Blood Shaman has had to rum his focus inwards,



drawing the energies from himself through self-wounding to



draw blood.



This hideous and evil form of magic is a relatively recent discovery



upon Wormwood (only within the last 30 years or so), so



there are very few practitioners of it at this time. However, the



Unholy's interest and faith in these spell casters is increasing almost



daily so more and more followers of darkness are choosing



to walk down this path.



It should be noted that Blood Shamans are not limited to just



Wormwood. This O.C.C. and magic type has been developed on



many worlds that have the cosmic misfortune of lacking ley



lines, as well as in cultures where ritual sacrifice is a way of life.



Upon Wormwood, the Blood Shaman are often used by the



dark priests as trusted agents, lieutenants and covert agents. As



often as not, however, the Blood Shaman's manias and lust for



power cause him to attempt to carry out his own agendas, causing



many to despise the dark priests, and in turn, be despised



themselves.



1. Initial Spell Knowledge and Learning New Spells:



The Blood Shaman's spell knowledge comes from within



himself and is learned and understood intuitively. Thus, the



character can not be taught new spells by other magic users,



from scrolls, etc.



At first level, select a total of 6 spells From those that are



available to the Blood Shaman, levels 1 to 4.



From that point on, the character selects 2 new spells per



level of experience earned, from spell levels no greater than his



current level of experience.



2. Sense Psychic and Magic Energy:



This power is the same as the power for the Psi-Stalker, only



their percentages are as follows.



Recognize specific psychic scent: 10% +5% per level of experience.



Track continuous energy expenditure: 40% +5% per level of



experience. All ranges are half that of the Psi-Stalker.



55



3. Blood Ceremony:



This is the process by which the blood shaman casts his



spells; it is truly unique among those who follow the ways of



mysticism. Unlike other users of magic, the blood shaman must



actually cut himself in order to release the P.P.E. required to



cast his spell. The size and damage caused by the cut depends



upon the spell which he or she desires to cast. All wounds



caused in this manner can be healed by mystical means or



through the process of nature.



Obviously, the use of blood magic leaves the caster covered



in scars; the longer one has been practicing blood magic, the



more scarred his body.



Also, the P.P.E. of others can be utilized by cutting and



bleeding them in sacrifice. This sacrifice can range from a small



cut that leaves the donor alive, to one which kills the donor. To



find out how much P.P.E. is released by the amount of damage



caused to the donor, take the being's P.P.E. and divide it by the



total of his hit points and S.D.C. / M.D.C. Round the result



down (the fraction is lost in the process of the ceremony). The



result is the number of P.P.E. points released from the creature



for each point of damage inflicted. Remember, killing the creature



causes the release of double its normal P.P.E.



For example, a being whose S.D.C. is 50 and hit points is 25



has a P.P.E. of 200. For every one point of damage caused to



this being, 2 P.P.E. is released (remember to round down to the



nearest point).



In order for the blood shaman to absorb the energy as it is released,



he must have total concentration. Once absorbed, the energy



must be used within one melee or it is lost. However, for



every 3 levels of experience after the first, the blood shaman



may contain the energy for an additional melee (thus a fourth



level shaman could contain it for 2 melees, a 7th level shaman



for 3, and so on).



NOTE: The following situations affect the amount of P.P.E.



that can be drawn from a being, be it a donor or the shaman



himself (note, these affects can be compounded):



• Ceremony performed within 2 miles of a ley line: P.P.E. released



is +5%.



• Ceremony performed on a ley line or within one mile of a



nexus: P.P.E. released is +10%.



• Ceremony performed on a nexus or within 200 feet of a



nexus: P.P.E. released is +25%.



• Ceremony performed at noon or midnight: P.P.E. released is



+50%.



• Ceremony performed on the Vernal or Autumnal Equinox:



P.P.E. released is +100%.



• Ceremony performed on the Summer or Winter Solstice:



P.P.E. released is +200%.



• Ceremony performed on a Lunar Eclipse: P.P.E. released is



+300%.



• Ceremony performed on a Solar Eclipse: P.P.E. released is



+600%.



4. Heal By Blood Sharing:



The shaman can heal others by pouring his own blood into



the mouth of an injured being. This is done by the shaman cutting



himself (such is his skill that he can cut himself to cause the



EXACT amount of damage he desires). From this cut pours



forth the blood, which is then swallowed by the injured.



The amount of damage healed is equal to the amount of damage



that the blood shaman inflicted upon himself. After inflicting



the wound, it will continue to bleed as a normal wound but



will no longer heal others; its P.P.E. potential to heal has been



used.



Also, any wounds gained in any other way (for example,



through combat), cannot be used to heal others as the wound



must be self-inflicted and the blood shaman must spend the appropriate



P.P.E. simultaneously to bestow upon the fluid its



healing properties.



Duration: instant



Limits: the blood shaman can only heal 10 H.P. / S.D.C.



/M.D.C. per single use of this power, per level of experience.



Cost: the amount expended by the blood shaman is equal to



the amount of damage to be healed.



5. P.P.E.:



Like all men of magic, the Blood Shaman is a living battery



of mystic energy which he draws upon to create magic. PERMANENT



P.P.E. BASE: lD6x 10+20 plus the character's P.E.



number. Add 3D6 P.P.E. per additional level of experience. The



Blood Shaman can draw upon the P.P.E. of others (but only



through the drawing of their blood) but cannot use the P.P.E. energy



of ley lines and nexus points as do other spell casters.



6. Disadvantages, Insanities and Vulnerabilities:



Because all P.P.E. used to cast spells is caused by the spilling



of blood (either the shaman's own or that of another), he cannot



draw P.P.E. from others, ley lines or nexus points as can regular



spell casters. However, all spell effects, duration, range, etc. are



still increased as per normal.



Also, a person's psyche can only take so much mutilation



before it begins to crack, thus the character must roll on the random



insanity table once each at levels 1, 3, 7, 10, 12 and 15.



7. Bonuses:



+3 to save vs. horror factor, +2 to save vs. magic and +1 to



save vs. possession, +4D6 S.D.C. / M.D.C. (due to the constant



strain the Shaman places upon his body).



Alignment:




Evil or anarchist only; the very nature of the O.C.C.



disallows the possibility of any other alignments.



Racial Limitations:




Any race that allows magic users may



learn to be blood shamans.



Attribute Requirements:




P.E. 14, M.E. 15



O.C.C. Skills:



Lore: Monsters and Demons (+10%)



Language: American (+20%)



Language: Demongogian (+30%)



Biology (+20%)



Athletics



W.P. Knife



W.P. with one other ancient, bladed weapon



Hand to Hand Basic



The basic combat skill can be increased to expert at the cost



of one "other" skill, or hand to hand: assassin or martial arts



at the cost of two "other" skills.



O.C.C. Related Skills:




Select 8 other skills, but two must be



from science or rogue. Plus select two additional skills at



level 3, one at level 6, one at level 9 and one at level 12.



Communications: Any



Domestic: Any (+5%)



56



Electrical: Any



Espionage: Tracking and Recognize Concealment only (both



Level One:



Mechanical: Any



Medical: None



Military: Any (+5%)



Physical: Any except boxing and acrobatics.



Pilot: Any except robots, power armor, tanks and spaceships.



Pilot Related: Any



Rogue: Any (+10%)



Science: Any (+5%)



Technical: Any (+5%)



W.P.: Any



Wilderness: Any



Secondary Skills:




The character also gets to select 4 secondary



skills from those listed. These are additional areas of knowledge



that do not get the advantage of the bonus listed in the



parentheses ( ). All secondary skills start at the base skill



level.



Standard Equipment:




Several suits of clothing, a pair of boots,



a cloak, a first-aid kit, sleeping bag, blanket, 1D4 small



pouches, one large sack, backpack or saddlebag, utility belt,



50 feet of rope (made from angel hair), and 1D4 weeks of



food rations.



Weapons:




1D4 knives and daggers (also used in spell casting),



a silver plated sword, one or two weapons of choice.



Magic Items:




Gets two lesser blood stones, 1D4-1 magic slime



ointments.



Armor:




Most blood shamans prefer light armors such as resin



chain mail (40 M.D.C., no prowl penalty) or scale mail (60



M.D.C., -10% prowl penalty).



Transportation:




Blood shamans prefer to ride parasites or



some other form of beast.



Money:




Though there is no currency upon Wormwood, the



blood shaman is selfish and thus tends to horde items



(4D6x5,000 credits worth). Also, they demand what they



want of the populace, believing their power and stature grants



them the right to whatever they like.



Cybernetics:




Starts with none and will generally tend to avoid



them.



Symbiotes:




As the Dark Priest O.C.C.



Blood Magic



This is the unique form of magic that requires the caster release



the P.P.E. through the drawing of blood, be it his own or



another's. Each time the caster performs this on himself, he



takes the damage listed in the "Damage to Caster" section of the



spell description. If the spell is cast using the blood of another,



the damage caused is determined using the method described



under the blood shaman ability, "Blood Ceremony".



NOTE: Those who are not used to seeing the process of a



blood shaman cutting himself to release his magical energy must



save vs. horror factor 8 or be too repulsed to react, as per the



normal effects of failing to save.



Blood Bolt



Range: 50 feet.



Duration: Instantly.



Damage: 2D6 S.D. or 1D4 M.D. per 5 P.P.E. expended.



Saving Throw: Dodge of an 18 or higher.



P.P.E.: 5 (max of 5 per level of experience).



Damage to Caster: 1D4+1 per 5 P.P.E. expended.



As the blood comes from the caster's body, it turns into a bolt



of red energy and streaks towards its target. Though no roll to



strike is required to hit, the target can attempt to dodge, with all



bonuses applicable.



The degree of damage can be controlled as the blood shaman



sees fit.



Boil Blood (Simple)



Range: target must be within 25 feet, +5 feet per level of experience.



Duration: One melee, plus one melee per every two levels of ex



perience



after the first.



Saving Throw: Standard.



P.P.E.: 7



Damage to Caster: 1D6+1



To use this spell, the victim must be in line of sight and have



a cut from which fresh blood can be seen.



The actual affect of the spell creates a sensation in the victim



of intense heat within his body, as though his blood were boil-



57



ing. While no actual damage is being caused, it is so painful and



distracting that the victim automatically loses initiative and is -1



attack, and -2 / -20% to all actions.



Any action that requires intense concentration, such as the



use of psionic powers or spell casting, require a save vs. insanity



(with a -4 penalty) in order to do so. If this save fails, the attempt



does as well and the victim loses that action.



Those creatures immune to heat and fire, or that take 1/2



damage from it apply such resistances to this spell (either com



pletely



nullifying or halving all penalties (with a minimum of -



1), as applicable).



Blood Curse



Range: Touch



Duration: 1 hour per level of the caster.



Saving Throw: Standard



P.P.E.: 10



Damage to Caster: 1D8+4



This spell reduces the normal healing rate of the target to half



normal (this includes regeneration) and stops blood from clotting.



Blood Jar



Range: 5 feet



Duration: 5 days per level of experience.



Saving Throw: None



P.P.E.: 5



Damage to Caster: 1D6



When cast upon a scalable container, that container can now



hold blood and stop it from spoiling. The container can be



opened and resealed, continuing to keep the blood fresh so long



as it closed again.



However, the blood jar spell does NOT preserve any P.P.E.



in the blood; this disperses normally.



58



A container holding up to one pint per level of experience is



affected by this spell.



Chill Blood



Range: target must be within 25 feet, +5 feet per level of experience.



Duration: One melee, plus one melee per every two levels of experience



after the first.



Saving Throw: Standard.



P.P.E.: 7



Damage to Caster: 1D6+1



This spell is essentially identical to Boil Blood, but instead, it



creates the affect of extreme cold within ones blood.



It affects those with resistances to heat but is likewise reduced



in effect upon those resistant or immune to cold.



Seal Wound



Range: Self or by touch



Duration: Instantly



Saving Throw: None



P.P.E.: 3



Damage to Caster: 1D4



This will seal up a single wound, causing the edges of it to



come together and instantly scar, ceasing blood loss.



Level Two:



Blood Trail



Range: Self and by touch.



Duration: One day per level of experience.



Saving Throw: None



P.P.E.: 8



Damage to Caster: 1D6+3



This creates a form of bond between the two recipients (either



the caster and another, or two separate targets other than the



caster himself). For the spell to take affect, both must drink of



the blood released by the caster.



So long as the duration of the spell is still up, to the two recipients



it appears as though the other leaves a trail of blood be



hind



him where ever he goes. This trail looks like small drops of



blood every few feet but only the two affected by the spell can



see it. NOTE: creatures that can track by blood, such as dogs, or



those with the ability to see the invisible, can sense and follow it



as well.



The blood that makes the trail appears mystically and does



not actually come from either of the two.



This trail cannot be washed away or covered by such weather



as rain or snow. It only disappears when the spell's duration



runs out.



Multiply Blood



Range: 5 feet



Duration: Instant



Saving Throw: None



P.P.E.: 5



Damage to Caster: 2D4+1



This doubles the amount of blood upon which the spell is



cast (with a limit of one pint per level of experience).



However, the blood must be in sight (such as in a container)



and if it still retains P.P.E. (such as in a Blood Battery), the total



P.P.E. in the blood remains unchanged even though the quantity



is increased (adjust equally amongst new amount of blood).



Negate Poisons / Toxins



Range: Self or by touch



Duration: Instant



Saving Throw: None



P.P.E.: 8



Damage to Caster: 1D6+3



The spell works identically as described on Rifts pg. 171.



Taint Blood



Range: Self or by touch



Duration: 1 melee per level of experience.



Saving Throw: Standard



P.P.E.: 8



Damage to Caster: 1D8



While having no bad side affects upon the target of this spell,



any vampire or other creature that drinks of the target's blood



will find it toxic.



The creature drinking the blood must save vs. lethal poison



with a -3 penalty or suffer damage equal to the damage caused



in the attack that caused the release of blood (note: do not convert



M.D. into S.D. equivalent if appropriate in the circumstances).



The minimum damage that can be taken is 5. All



damage taken is caused directly to the creature's hit points.



Even if the save is successful, the taste is so distasteful that



the creature will refuse to drink it again.



Even if the blood is removed and poured into a container,



such as a glass, the blood would still be toxic to drink so long as



the duration of the spell had not yet run out.



Level Three:



Agony



Range: 2 feet per level of experience.



Duration: 2 melees



Damage: Special



Saving Throw: Standard



P.P.E.: 12



Damage to Caster: 1D8+2



This spell is identical to that on Rifts pg 177 though it requires



that the victim have an open, bleeding wound for it to affect



him.



Blood Armor



Range: Self or Other (must be touched).



Duration: 2 melees per level of the caster.



Saving Throw: None



P.P.E.: 10



Damage to Caster: 1D8+4



The blood which is released from the shaman crawls across



his body (or that of the spell recipient) and replicates until it ap



pears



that the target is completely covered in blood.



This layer of mystic blood offers protection equal to 5



M.D.C. per level of the caster's experience. Magic, fire, light



ning,



and cold do one-half damage.



The sight of a recipient of this spell causes a horror factor of



10 on those seeing it for the first time (even on those who are



hardened to battle).



Bloodlust



Range: Self or by touch



Duration: 1 melee plus an additional melee per every two levels



of the caster beyond the first.



Saving Throw: None



P.P.E.: 15



Damage to Caster: 1D8+3



Causing in the target just what the name suggests, the recipient



is consumed by a lust to let the blood of others. If no enemy



presents itself when the spell is cast, the target must save vs. in



sanity



with a -6 penalty or attack the nearest living thing in sight



(even if it is a friend).



While under the affects of the bloodlust, the recipient is immune



to the horror factor of others and is +2 to strike and +4 to



damage.



However, so deep is the bloodlust that no actions other than



movement and combat can be performed without the recipient



making a save vs. insanity with a -4 penalty (even then, all skills



are -25%). Also, the target will only attack with melee weapons



or in hand to hand; no ranged weapons, and even then is -3 to



parry and dodge (no autododge either, if the target possesses



that ability).



To come out of the bloodlust prematurely, before the spell's



duration has run out, the target must make 3 consecutive saves



vs. insanity with a -5 penalty.



Crimson Rain



Range: The area to be affected must be within 75 feet, plus 10



feet per level of the caster. The area of affect is up to a 30 foot



radius plus 5 feet per level of the caster.



Duration: 1 melee per level of experience



Saving Throw: Special



P.P.E.: 5 per 5 foot radius area being affected



Damage to Caster: ld6+6



This spell takes any flowing water, be it from a burst pipe,



rain, river, etc. and alters it to appear as blood. The altered water



smells, looks and tastes like blood even though it is still only



water.



How the spell works is that a chosen area is affected, not specific



water itself. Thus, when water flows through the area, it is



altered, if it then leaves the area, it returns to normal.



A person that is not aware that the "blood" is actually water



and sees such a gory spectacle must save vs. a horror factor of



14.



Any vampire (or similar bloodthirsty creature) who is sub



jected



to water within the area of affect will believe the water to



be blood. They must then save vs. insanity (with a penalty: -2



for master vampires, -4 for secondary vampires, -8 for wild



vampires, no penalty for vampire intelligences). If the save fails,



the vampire is caught up in its bloodthirsty lust and remains in



the area to drink the "blood". Obviously, the water causes damage



to the vampire as normal, yet because the vampire is caught



up in its own thirsty lust, it takes no notice and remains.



However, if the save succeeds, the vampire realizes that it



has been duped and is only drinking water, no matter what it



seems to be. In this case, the lust leaves the vampire and he is



free to act normally.



Each melee that the vampire is affected by the lust to feed



upon the altered water it is allowed another save to see if it can



59



get free. Due to the power of the lust, each failed save adds a cumulative



-1 penalty to all following saves until a successful save



is rolled.



It should be noted that if the spell is cast outside, such as in a



rain storm, only that rain passing through the area will be affected,



thus vampires flying over the area will not be affected by



the blood frenzy (though they will still take damage from flying



through the normal rain).



For example: a fifth level Blood Shaman is being chased



through a sewer system by 1 master, 2 secondary and 8 wild



vampires. The mage casts this spell on the water flowing from a



broken pipe in the sewer behind him. He can create an area up



to 50 feet in radius (which would cost 50 P.P.E.) but makes it



only 10 feet in radius (costing 10 P.P.E.) as that is all that is re



quired



to encompass the entire breadth of the sewer tunnel.



The water gushing from the pipe takes on the semblance of



blood and the oncoming vampires approach, seeing the "blood".



Entering a feeding frenzy, the vampires save vs. insanity. The



master vampire and one of the secondary vampires succeed and



realize they have been tricked. They rush through the water, taking



damage but being able to move past it to continue their pursuit.



The remaining secondary and 8 wild vampires think it is



real blood and remain to drink it, taking damage.



By the end of the first melee round, 6 of the wild vampires



have been destroyed and the rest must save. The secondary vampire



must save with a -5 penalty (the original -4, plus -1 for fail



ing



once) and the remaining 2 wild vampires must save at -9



(the original -8, plus -1 for failing once). This continues until



they have either saved and freed themselves or they are de



stroyed



by the water.



Open Wound



Range: Touch



Duration: Instant



Saving Throw: Standard



P.P.E.: 5 for small wounds and scratches, 10 for medium, and



15 for large wounds.



Damage to Caster: 1D8+4



Firstly, for this spell to even work, the caster must be able to



see a sealed wound (such as stitches or a scar).



If such a mark exists, the touching of it and casting of this



spell causes it to reopen, no matter how long the wound has



been sealed for. The reopening itself will cause damage and start



it to bleed again as though it were freshly made.



The damage caused by the reopening of the wound depends



upon the original wounds size (G.M.'s discretion):



Scratches: only 1 S.D. / M.D.



Small: 1D10 S.D./M.D.



Medium: 2D10 S.D./M.D.



Large: !D4xlO S.D./M.D.



Level Four:



Absorb Strength



Range: Must be consumed



Duration: 1 melee per every 3 levels of the caster.



Saving Throw: None



P.P.E.: 15



Damage to Caster: 2D8+6



By drinking the recently (within 2 melees) drawn blood of



another being, the drinker of the affected blood (must be at least



a pint) absorbs some of the strength of the creature from which



it was taken. The creature from which the blood is drawn can be



intelligent, supernatural, man or beast.



For every 4 points of P.S. the creature that "donated" the



blood has, the drinker of the blood receives 1 point of P.S. Also



of note is that if the creature from which it was taken had supernatural



strength, so now does the drinker.



Heal Wounds



Range: Touch or 3 foot distance.



Duration: Instant



Saving Throw: Standard, if the person resists.



P.P.E.: 15



Damage to Caster: 2D6+1



Is identical to the spell on Rifts pg. 175



Heart Attack



Range: Touch (1 foot per level of experience once the shaman



has reached fifth level).



Duration: Instant



Saving Throw: Standard for Effect 1, special for Effect 2.



P.P.E.:



Effect 1: 10



Effect 2: 7 per level of experience



Damage to Caster:



Effect 1: 1D10+10



Effect 2: 1D6 per level of experience



This spell has two very distinct effects, the second of which



can only be used once the caster reaches fifth level.



EFFECT 1: The target of the spell suddenly suffers from



pains in his chest that will disrupt his concentration and causes



him to lose initiative, 1/2 of his attacks and will be -3 / 30% on



all actions or skills.



EFFECT 2: The target has an actual heart attack and must



save vs. shock with a penalty of the caster's level x 3% or go



into a coma.



Even if the save is successful, the target must then make a



standard save or suffer symptoms equal to Effect 1.



Mask Undead



Range: Touch only



Duration: 1 hour per caster's level of experience.



Saving Throw: None



P.P.E.: 17



Damage to Caster: 3D4+3



This spell creates an illusion of life (or at the very least, a



vague semblance of it) upon an undead target.



To which degree this spell will take affect depends upon the



targeted undead's current state (and the G.M.'s discretion). An



undead can only be made to look slightly more lifelike than its



normal appearance.



For instance, an animated skeleton could be made to appear



as a creature of muscle but lacking skin where as a vampire



would lose its pale complexion and its chest would be seen to



move as though breathing and it would appear to have a heartbeat.



Only undead can be affected by this spell, not the unanimated



dead.



60



Despite the spell, nothing can mask the scent of the supernatural



that is radiated by the undead and thus Psi-Stalkers and



the like would still sense them.



Level Five:



Blood Draught



Range: 3 feet



Duration: Instant



Saving Throw: None



P.P.E.: 15



Damage to Caster: 4D4+4



By drinking the blood from another creature (the blood must



have been drawn either directly or within 2 melees of being



drank), a person can heal grievous wounds.



Half a pint is required to create the draught and only 1/2 a



pint can be created per every three levels of the caster.



The blood from creatures that are mundane (non-spellcasters



or supernatural) heals 5D6 S.D. / M.D. per half pint.



The blood of spellcasters or the supernatural heals !D6xlO



S.D./M.D. per half pint.



The blood from a creature that possesses regenerative abilities



heals 2D6xlO S.D. / M.D. per half pint.



Boil Blood (Advanced)



Range: target must be within 50 feet, +10 feet per level of experience.



Duration: One melee, plus one melee per three levels of experience



after the first.



Saving Throw: Standard



P.P.E.: 17



Damage to Caster: 3D6+5



Basically the same as the simple version with the following



changes:



• Does not require an open wound on the victim



• The victim loses half his attacks, and is -6 / -60% to all actions.



• -8 penalty to save vs. insanity required to perform actions requiring



concentration.



Chill Blood (Advanced)



Range: target must be within 50 feet, +10 feet per level of experience.



Duration: 1 melee plus one melee per three levels of experience



after the first.



Saving Throw: Standard



P.P.E.: 17



Damage to Caster: 3D6+5



This spell is essentially identical to Boil Blood (Advanced),



but instead, it creates the affect of extreme cold within ones



blood.



It affects those with resistances to heat but is likewise reduced



in effect upon those resistant or immune to cold.



Create Blood



Range: 5 feet (affects 2 pints per level of experience).



Duration: Instant



Saving Throw: None



P.P.E.: 14



Damage to Caster: 3D4+5



This spell will turn simple liquids, such as gasoline, water



and wine into blood. The blood created by this spell can be of



any type desired and contains 10 P.P.E. per pint (though the



P.P.E. will disperse at a rate of 5 P.P.E. per melee).



Vascular Eruption



Range: 10 feet per level of experience.



Duration: Instant



Saving Throw: Standard



P.P.E.: Varies



Damage to Caster: Varies



Grisly to behold (horror factor 12), this destructive spell



causes the veins and capillaries near the victim's skin to erupt



with such force that blood comes shooting through the skin,



reaching distances of up to three feet!



The damage caused by this spell can be varied: 2D6 S.D. /



M.D. (5 P.P.E., 1D4 damage to caster), 4D6 S.D. / M.D. (10



P.P.E., 1D6+3 damage to caster), 7D6 S.D. / M.D. (15 P.P.E.,



3D6+2 damage to caster), or !D6xlO+10 S.D. / M.D. (20



P.P.E., 3D6+10 damage to caster).



Level Six:



Blood Beast



Range: Immediate



Duration: Duration P.P.E.: 100



Saving Throw: None Damage to Caster: 1 D4x 10+10



61



This spell summons a tectonic entity and constrains it into



the blood released by the spell caster, forming a being known



simply as a Blood Beast. The blood beast stands about seven



feet tall and appears as a featureless humanoid comprised solely



of blood that is constantly flowing and shifting.



The entity controlling the blood form will obey the caster in a



combat situation for 10 melees per level of experience or be sent



on a single, simple mission ("Bring me so and so", or "Slay so



and so"). The tectonic entity will remain in the caster's dimension



until the mission is complete or it is slain.



There is a 20% chance that the entity will not return to its



own dimension and will no longer obey the spell caster who



summoned it. If this happens, it will remain in the caster's di



mension



wreaking havoc and killing for the shear pleasure of it.



Blood Beast:



Alignment: Diabolic



Attributes: I.Q. 5, M.E. N/A, M.A. N/A, P.S. 30 supernatural),



P.P. 12, P.E. N/A, P.B. 3, Spd. 16.



M.D.C.: !D8xlO + 40 P.P.E.: 60



Horror Factor: 16 I.S.P.: none



Natural Abilities: See the invisible, regenerate 2D8 M.D.C.



per melee (double by drinking the blood of others), takes 1/2



damage from energy attacks (those which are magical or psionic



in nature do full damage), and can cast the following blood



magic spells each three times daily: blood bolt, open wound,



boil blood (advanced), carnivorous blood. Note that the act of



casting blood magic does NOT damage a blood beast!



Psionics: none



Combat: 5 physical or 2 magical attacks per melee, +3 to



strike, parry and dodge, +1 on initiative, +3 to save vs. magic,



+1 to save vs. psionics and +10 to save vs. horror factor.



Damage: restrained punch - 5D6 S.D., 2D6 M.D. on a full



strength punch, 4D6 M.D. on a power punch (uses 2 attacks)



Skills: none



Blood Divination



Range: 1 foot (although the image could pertain to people or



places thousands of miles away).



Duration: 4d6 melees



Saving Throw: None



P.P.E.: 30



Damage to Caster: 4D6+5



Pouring his blood into a large puddle, the caster then gazes



into it in the hopes of a glimpse into the possible future.



Essentially, this spell is identical in its function to the clairvoyance



psionic power on Rifts pg. 121, only it is more accurate



and can be attempted four times a day (if the caster's body can



handle the punishment).



BASE SKILL: 66% +2% per level of experience.



Blood Pact



Range: Self and other or two others.



Duration: Special



Saving Throw: Standard, if resisted.



P.P.E.: 65



Damage to Caster: 3D 10+8



The two beings who are to be affected by this spell must



equally share and drink the blood released by the blood shaman.



After the blood is consumed, the blood shaman recites a pact to



the spell, a promise if you will, which must be fulfilled within



the given conditions as described by the shaman.



This pact could be anything from "should one of you be



killed, the other must avenge his murder within one year" or



"neither of you shall ever steal anything from the other".



If the conditions are kept to, nothing happens. However,



should the conditions be disobeyed, the perpetrator must save



vs. magic with a penalty of -8 or die instantly.



It should also be noted that killing off the other member of



the pact does not necessarily cancel out the spell, given certain



conditions. For instance, in the above examples, if one of the



pact killed the other, in the first example he would be required



to kill himself but in the latter he would then be able to take the



other's possessions.



This spell is often used upon pairs of captives who are then



obligated to complete a dangerous mission for the blood shaman



or die from not fulfilling the spell's conditions.



Carnivorous Blood



Range: 3 feet per level of the caster.



Duration: 1 melee action per level of the caster.



Saving Throw: Standard



P.P.E.: 25



Damage to Caster: 3D8+8



Firstly, in order for this spell to work, the target must have an



open wound that is bleeding.



62



This spell creates the horrible affect of causing the target's



blood to start dissolving his insides. The damage caused is 3D10



S.D. / M.D. per melee ACTION! Also, the damage cannot be



healed by any means less than surgery (-15%) or magic / psionics.



Until such a healing process is performed, none of the damage



will be repaired.



Such is the pain that is caused by this spell, that until the



damage is healed, the target will suffer the following penalties: -



5 to initiative, strike, parry, roll and dodge, -25% to all skills.



Superior Blood Armor



Range: Self or Other (must be touched).



Duration: 1 minute per level of the caster.



Saving Throw: None



P.P.E.: 18



Damage to Caster: 3D8



Merely an improved version of the Blood Armor spell, the



protection from this one affords 15 M.D.C. per level of the



caster's experience. Magic, fire, lightning, and cold do one-half



damage.



The sight of a recipient of this spell causes a horror factor of



10 on those seeing it for the first time (even on those who are



hardened to battle).



Level Seven:



Blood Battery



Range: 5 feet



Duration: 2 days per level of the caster.



Saving Throw: None



P.P.E.: 20



Damage to Caster: 3D6+3



This spell works the same as the Blood Jar spell with one distinct



difference: the blood stored retains its P.P.E. and thus can



be used by the blood shaman to cast spells at anytime.



Blood Brothers



Range: Touch



Duration: 1 melee per level of caster.



Saving Throw: None



P.P.E.: 55



Damage to Caster: 4D8+10



The two recipients of this spell must drink the blood of the



other in order for this spell to work, and then drink of the



caster's spellcasting wound (if he isn't one of the participants



himself).



Through a mystically formed bond, each participant gets to



draw on the strengths of the other. This bond manifests it self in



several ways:



• For every 2 points one person has above 16 in his attributes,



the other person gets one point to his same attribute for the



duration of the spell.



• Both people get +4D6 S.D.C. / M.D.C.



• Both people get the vulnerabilities and weaknesses of the



other.



• Any damage suffered by one is also taken, at half the original



amount, by the other.



• If one of the two is killed, the other must save vs. death at -



20% or lapse into a coma.



Note that this spell can only be used on sentient beings, not



on animals.



Life Drain



Range: 45 feet.



Duration: 1 melee per level of experience.



Damage: Special; see description.



Saving Throw: Standard



P.P.E.: 20



Damage to Caster: 3D6+4



This is identical to the spell in Rifts pg. 178 except the victim



must have an open, bleeding wound for this to take affect.



Level Eight:



Blood Amulet



Range: Holder / wearer of the amulet.



Duration: Exists as long as the medallion is not destroyed.



Saving Throw: None



P.P.E.:215



Damage to Caster: !D6xlO + 20



Enchanting a medallion or charm with mystical properties,



this spell grants one of several benefits. The medallion must be



made of one metal purified by fire or made of semiprecious



stone, and then bathed in the spilled blood of the caster. Pick



one of the following benefits:



63



• Protection vs. vampires: works like a cross.



• Protection vs. disease: Bonus of+6 to save vs. disease.



• Protection vs. blood magic: Bonus of +6 to save vs. blood



magic spells and effects.



• Protection vs. necromancy: Bonus of +6 to save vs. necromantic



magic and effects.



Blood Ward



Range: Affects any creature activating it.



Duration: Instant



Saving Throw: Standard; spells are base 12, blood wards created



by ritual are 16.



P.P.E.: 80



Damage to Caster: 5D10 + 6



Much like the regular ward spell, this invocation is used for



the protection of items of value, dwellings and as booby traps.



The ward can be cast on a door or window, section of floor, a



cabinet or on a specific item such as a book or statue. When



somebody, other than the he that created it, touches the warded



object, the spell affect is triggered. The following wards can be



created. Each ward invocation will create two separate wards,



the ritual will create three. The object to be warded must be



present.



• Blood Bolt: the person touching the item is hit by a bolt of



blood (as the first level spell) that does 4D4 M.D. or 8D6



S.D. (as appropriate). Dodge vs. 18 to avoid.



• Boil Blood: the person is affected as if by the fifth level spell,



Boil Blood (Advanced) for 4 melees. No open wound required.



• Chill Blood: the person is affected as if by the fifth level



spell, Chill Blood (Advanced) for 4 melees. No open wound



required.



• Blood Trail: the person is affected as if by a Blood Trail



spell, thus allowing the caster to follow him. The duration is



4 days.



• Agony: the person is affected as if by an Agony spell. The effects



last 2 minutes.



• Life Drain: the person is affected as if by a Life Drain spell.



The effects last 2 minutes.



• Heart Attack: the person is affected is if by a Heart Attack



spell. When created, the caster of the Blood Ward spell must



decide whether the effect of the spell will by "Effect 1" or



"Effect 2" (see the Heart Attack spell). For the purposes of



determination, treat the caster as 5th level.



• Vascular Eruption: the person is affected as if by the Vascular



Eruption spell, doing 4D6 S.D. / M.D. to the victim.



Control Vampire (ritual)



Range: Line of sight (including by mystic means).



Duration: 6 hours per level of the caster.



Saving Throw: Special



P.P.E.: 200



Damage to Caster: !D6xlO+15



This ritual causes a contest of wills between the caster and a



vampire. For the spell to work, the caster must be able to see the



target (through visual line of sight or mystic means, electronic



means won't work).



Once the target has been chosen, the battle of minds will be



joined. The vampire is immediately aware of the fact that some



one



is trying to control him and, if he can see the caster as well,



will also know who it is that is trying to control him.



Once this contest begins, the Vampire must save vs. ritual



magic, with all his normal bonuses to save vs. magic applicable.



However, there are other bonuses and penalties that must be applied;



these are as follows.



• A penalty is applied to the vampire's save equal to the caster's



level, plus any bonus for high M.E. that the caster might



have, as shown on the "Attribute Bonus Table".



• The vampire gets a bonus for high M.E. that he might have,



as shown on the "Attribute Bonus Table".



• If the target is a master vampire, he gets a +2 bonus to save,



if he is a secondary he gets no bonus and if he is a wild vampire,



he suffers a -2 penalty to save.



All commands given to a controlled vampire must be given



directly, either in person or by mystical or telepathic communi



cation;



messengers and electronic means will not work.



Also, every 6 hours the vampire is entitled to another attempt



to break free of his new master's control. All the previous bonuses



and penalties apply with the additional penalty of a -2 to



save for every previous time that the vampire has failed the



save.



When the duration runs out, the vampire is once again in con



trol



of itself and, it should be noted, will most likely be none to



happy that he was mind controlled. If the vampire has learned



his master's identity, he will most likely seek vengeance.



NOTE: If the vampire is being controlled by a vampire intelligence,



it will immediately realize that it has lost control of the



vampire (and may send others to investigate).



Create Blood Golem (ritual)



Range: Touch



Duration: Exists until destroyed.



Saving Throw: None



P.P.E.: 600



Damage to Caster: lDlOxlO + 40



First, the caster draws a pentagram in the blood which he



spilled for the required P.P.E., which is spilled by carving the



shape of the golem into his flesh (or that of the blood donor).



Next, he places two rubies, valued at no less than 1,000 cred



its



each, in the middle of the pentagram, side by side. Now he



places a heart, molded from iron, next to the two rubies. Lastly,



the caster splashes some of his own blood onto the heart and ru



bies.



This final



act permanently drains the caster of 4 S.D.C.



When the blood is splashed, the blood of the pentagram starts



to bubble and flow towards the heart and rubies, multiplying in



amount. In a matter of seconds, a creature made of pure blood,



with glowing rubies for eyes and an iron heart buried within its



form begins to rise up.



Spells and psionics designed to work against human physiology



(except other blood magic) are useless against the golem.



This means that charms, sleeps, bio-manipulation, illusions, pa



ralysis,



etc. won't work on it. Turn dead, banishment, negation



and remove curse are likewise useless. Physical attacks and energy



magic (even explosives) hurt the creature but do only 1/2



damage.



64



It cannot speak, read or understand complex commands. It



has no emotions, no fears, and is like a robot waiting for direc



tion.



A golem will obey only the person who created it. When



the creator dies, the golem will follow his last command until it



is destroyed.



Blood Golem:



• Horror Factor 16



• I.Q. 6, P.S. 22, Speed 14, Height: 6 to 20 feet.



• 5 attacks per melee, 1D4 M.D. by punch.



• No bonus to parry, dodge or initiative.



• Impervious to most psychic and magic attacks. Magic energy



attacks and normal weapons will do only 1/2 damage.



• Impervious to normal and magical fire.



• M.D.C. 30



• Regenerates completely within 24 hours unless the iron heart



is removed from the body.



Rifts® Dimension Book 4:



Skraypers™





¥or Kifts® and Heroes Unlimited".






Written by Kevin Siembieda, based on concepts by Zeleznik.



• Art by John Zeleznik — Johnny Z like you've never seen him.



• 160 pages; $16.95 retail.



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Russia and the Slavic countries are said to be monster-ridden hell-holes.



Perhaps, but the indomitable human spirit has risen from the chaos in the form



of the Warlords of Russia. The Warlords might be described as part barbarian,



part animal and part machine, for it is through the technological sorcery of bionics



that the Warlords and their cyborg hordes dominate the land.



The Warlords of Russia, their armies, politics, plans and enemies



(which includes other Warlords).



• The New Soviet and its background.



• Russian Cyborgs, partial and full conversion.



• Ancient and alien weapons and artifacts.



• Hostile Territories and monstrous enemies.



• Tons of world information and adventure ideas.



• Written by Kevin Siembieda and Kevin E. Krueger.



• Art by Perez, Breaux, Johnson and others.



• 224 pages; $20.95 retail.



Rifts® World Book 18:



The Magic of Russia™



This world book picks up where the last one ends, as we focus on the mystical,



monstrous and demonic aspects of the country and its people — human



and inhuman.



• D-Bees, ancient gods, and monsters.



• Russian magic.



• Gypsies and their secrets.



• A dangerous link to the Americas.



• More world information and adventure ideas.



• Written by Kevin Siembieda and Kevin E. Krueger.



• Art by Perez, Breaux, Johnson and others.



• 160 pages; $16.95 retail.



Coming this Summer for Rifts®



The exact order of releases may vary.



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• Rifts® Australia



• Dimension Book: Phase World™ — The Anvil Galaxy™



• Dimension Book: The Grand Paladins™



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65



Techno-Wizard



Extravaganza



Techno-Wizardry as



a Career: Its Value



and Its Cost



By Mark Sumimoto



Techno-wizards by their nature are the most unconventional



of magic users. Why, if one has the potential to shape the world



using sheer force of will, would one confine that power to the



trappings of a physical machine? Why would someone take an



energy source limited only by the power of the mind and build it



into a mechanical device with only a handful of uses? A potential



techno-wizard can easily change his path and elect to be



come



a Ley Line Walker with the power to channel the primal



force of the ley lines and mold it into an infinity of forms and



structures. But instead they choose the path that will limit them



to harnessing that power through the use of a machine. Why



impose such obvious limitations upon themselves?



When confronted with these questions most techno-wizards



will answer simply: "Because it's fun". Of course, there is much



more to it than that, but if one stops to think about it, being a



techno-wizard (or TW for short) really is fun. Ley Line Walkers



and Shifters must focus and concentrate whenever they want



to summon their powers. They focus their wills to shape reality;



a task that requires a serious mind and attitude, at least during



the casting of the spell. For a techno-wizard to summon a wall



of water, make himself invulnerable to fire, or fly through the



air, usually all he has to do is press a button. To sprout a pair of



wings, he may need only to pull the rip cord on a parachute. To



unleash a ball of fire, he needs only to pull a trigger. Any



number of magical effects can be created by simply adjusting a



few knobs or punching in the right code and spending the required



amount of P.P.E. Toss in the fact that the majority love



parading around in funky aviator gear with crazy-looking crystal



encrusted inventions strapped to them and you have what must



be a fun-loving, off-the-wall kind of guy. Initially, there is a lot



of hard work that must be put into making these devices, but often



the end result is well worth the effort and often cause for a



celebration. Any techno-wizard who puts nine or more months



into building a suit of mystic power armor will undoubtedly



want to go out for a test run to see what his hard work has gotten



him and have a lot of fun doing it.



The casting of a spell is a time consuming task requiring several



seconds to cast a low level spell, while higher level spells



may take half a minute or longer. By contrast, a techno-wizard



device can be activated in an instant. Instead of being able to



cast only one or two spells per melee, a TW can use an item or a



variety of devices two or more times during the melee. The releasing



of a magical effect is done without a lengthy chant to



telegraph the attack or the opportunity for an opponent to break



the mage's concentration. The push of a button or a quick mental



command and expenditure of P.P.E. is often all that is



needed.



The more arrogant techno-wizards will trumpet with pride



that their occupation is on the cutting edge of the new era. As



the line between magic and technology becomes more and more



blurred, techno-wizards are right there clouding things up. They



are constantly developing new ways to tweak magic by channeling



it through machinery and improve technology by modifying



it with magic. Many TW devices combine magic and technol



ogy



to create a new effect not possible with one alone. Seeing a



vast ship floating silently along a ley line or watching as someone



is struck down by invisible bolts of force is enough to make



many skeptics reconsider the possibility that techno-wizardry



may be the way of the future.



The techno-wizard is also seen as having a very lucrative career.



Another magic-user may attempt to sell his knowledge



through the black market, a guild, or even open his own shop to



sell to paying customers. In all cases, their customers are limited



to schooled magic-users. People without schooling in



magic cannot make use of spell knowledge at all. Most Magi



O.C.C.s won't bother learning spells beyond their current level



of achievement. And even the most experienced Warlocks and



Mystics are unable to learn any spells outside of their own intuitive



knowledge. But techno-wizards can build devices usable



by any mage as well as many psychics. The most experienced



techno-wizards can build devices usable by anyone, although



usually with a limited payload (or, in some rare cases, an indefi



nite



payload). In addition, their background in both magic and



technology means that they are able to evaluate and assess the



condition and value of a wide variety of items and artifacts,



ranging from pre-rifts vehicles to alien magic devices to modern



toaster ovens. This puts them ahead of the game as far as a career



in commerce or a fallback job after retiring from adventur



ing



is concerned.



Techno-wizards are also viewed with a little less trepidation,



by normal people, than other men of magic are. Ley Line Walkers



and Shifters are generally viewed as beings who traffic with



strange forces and demonic creatures, and are always found



working dangerous magic in those cursed, monster-infested



places with the blue light. Mystics are creepy people who can



look into your soul, Warlocks ally themselves with destructive



forces of nature, and Necromancers are the absolute epitome of



evil. But techno-wizards fire pistols to create energy blasts and



ride on wing boards to fly. The intricacies behind TW devices



66



are over the heads of most people, but seeing other people use



them is easy to comprehend. Normal folks can watch as technowizards



use weapons and tools, instead of manipulating unseen



forces. Of course, some peasants are as afraid of technology as



they are of magic, but the majority are more comfortable seeing



machines perform strange and seemingly impossible feats than



seeing someone create them from thin air.



Well, after pondering all this, the question now becomes:



Why would anyone choose any practice of magic other than that



of the techno-wizard? The ironic truth is that TW abilities lack



two qualities the techno-wizards themselves are often identified



with: versatility and spontaneity. While the TW can make an



incredibly diverse assortment of goods and devices, the devices



themselves are limited in their function. A wizard can cast any



spell available to him in any order he desires at anytime he desires,



with the only limit being the amount of P.P.E. available to



him. A TW can only have a limited amount of equipment with



him at any given time. A high level mage may have a hundred



spells available to him at any given time. A TW of equal power



may only have a dozen or so devices on his person at any one



time. While they are capable of casting any spells they know



without requiring the use of a machine to focus it, they cast



them at half the proficiency of a comparable spell caster. This is



an especially profound disadvantage when combating fully proficient



mages.



As for spontaneity, a TW must spend hours, days, weeks,



months or even years to build a working spell-casting device.



True, after the device is built, it can be used over and over



whenever needed. But until then, you'd better just hope that you



won't need it any time soon. Another fact is that a spell caster



can't be caught with his pants down. Ambush him in the shower



and he can always whip up a suit of magic armor or put his assailant



into a trance with a few spoken words. Catch a technowizard



in the shower and he may not be as lucky. Again, they



can cast spells at half proficiency, but they have a psychological



reliance on their equipment. The TW may instinctively run for



his gun or armor before using his magic. Any momentary delay



in this situation may spell the difference between life and death.



Their reliance on machines is also seen as a mark of weakness



by some closed-minded men of magic. This has caused



some friction between techno-wizards and these arrogant mages.



They view techno-wizards as weak techno-junkies who need a



technological crutch to support them. Other times technowizards



are chastised for their not-so-serious attitudes and ridiculous



outfits. But for the most part, they get along well with



other magic-users and this relationship is strengthened by the



fact that TW devices are widely used and accepted by most



mages.



The wide availability of users for their devices can occasion



ally



prove to be a drawback as well as an advantage to them.



Bandits, thieves and highwaymen may target techno-wizards because



of their high-priced equipment and magical goodies.



Other mages attract similar attention, but they don't have the



guaranteed payload that techno-wizards have and so are both



ered



less often. Also, many bandits view techno-wizards as



lesser mages and, therefore, easier targets. True, the typical TW



knows less mind controlling magic that subverts the will of others



than Shifters and Ley Line Walkers and their power seems



limited to building little machines. However, a bolt of lightning



fired from a TW lightning blaster is no less devastating than one



summoned from the sky.



Another recent stigma against the techno-wizards originates



with those familiar with the legends of the Palladium world.



67



Many visitors from that world fear that techno-wizardry is the



first step to the re-discovery of rune magic. With the advent of



the Murder-wraith (undead Juicer) and the Seduced Technowizard



(undead Borg), and other combinations of techno



wizardry



and Necromancy, the possibility of a re-creation of the



dark days of the Palladium world seems very real. Although,



this is still a long ways away, if it happens at all.



Techno-Wizards: Their Origins



In the beginning of the post-apocalyptic era, when magic was



first rediscovered, more and more men of magic began looking



for ways to maximize its use. New spell incantations were de



veloped



and mages began splintering off into specialized areas.



Those who were fascinated by the lines of power that now



crossed the Earth became Ley Line Walkers. The study of the



Rifts and the beings they let into this world became the practice



of the mages known as Shifters. Those blessed with the intui



tive



knowledge of magic became known as Mystics. As elemental



creatures made their presence known, their disciples, the



Warlocks, began to grow in number. Other mages began sal



vaging



the relics of their past and began studying the technology



of their ancestors. They studied and repaired the ancient devices



they uncovered and began putting them back together in different



ways. These mages discovered that machines could be re



configured



to emulate magical effects. However, conventional



fuels were not capable of producing the results they desired.



Then they realized that to get the results they wanted, they



needed a power source which was not bound by physical limitations.



Machines, they thought, could be modified to use the



power which now flowed through the Earth, instead of conventional



or nuclear fuels. To them it was simply logical that they,



with their great amount of psychic energy, be the living batteries



for their inventions. They toiled endlessly to perfect their new



craft. New methods and innovations were developed to convert



existing machines to function on magic energy. Later devices



were created which could tap into the endless power of the Ley



Lines themselves. These pioneers were the first techno-wizards.



Most reports claim that techno-wizardry originated in the



once fledgling republic of Lazlo. These reports are backed by



the fact that the city of Lazlo is one of the largest producers of



techno-wizard devices and goods in North America. TW tech



nology



is a commonplace sight of daily life in the city of Lazlo.



These devices are seen in the home, at the workplace, and, especially,



in the military. In fact, the main source of power for



Lazlo city is a Ley Line nexus point tapped by a tremendous



TW generator. Tolkeen and New Lazlo are equally reliant on



techno-wizardry, but neither lay claim to having been its birthplace



(especially true of New Lazlo, which was founded by set



tlers



from the first Lazlo). New rumors now circulate that claim



techno-wizardry was actually developed in the Magic Zone and



that early techno-wizards traveled north to Lazlo after they dis



covered



this new craft. Most scholars believe that these rumors



were started by the money-hungry profiteers at Stormspire, the



largest manufacturer of TW weapons and equipment in North



America, to bring in more customers and young techno-wizards



looking for employment. Some supporters of Tolkeen have



started rumors that Techno-wizardry did originate in their nation.



This is a desperate attempt by them to recruit techno



wizards



to join their army and weapon factories in preparation



for the upcoming war with the Coalition. Unfortunately for



them, this tactic is not panning out very well, but a handful of



young wild-eyed techno-wizards have been attracted to the possible



chance to be war heroes.



In the years following their early beginnings, some of these



revolutionary mages have branched off and formed new areas of



specialization. Most Techno-wizards still fall into the standard



description listed the



Rifts RPG, but new variants account for



10% of the techno-wizards in North America. Also see the



Ninja TW found in



Rifts Japan. Additionally, techno-wizards



from North America have traveled to other places around the



globe and some of them have taught their craft to students there.



Techno-Wizards:



Their Character and Sub-culture



Techno-wizards are as varied in their individual dispositions



as any O.C.C. But as with any career and occupation, they at



tract



certain types of people and personalities. Students of this



craft need a certain mindset. The training itself further molds a



student into a mirror of its forerunners. The mechanics behind



TW devices can escape those who are too rigid in their understanding



of the laws of physics. The skill to make a functioning



magic item from a handful of junk requires patience and imagination.



Hard work is put into the construction of the machine



and the end product is as much the result of blood, sweat and



tears as it is skill and knowledge. That having been said,



techno-wizards are generally characterized as being introverted,



humble, hard-working, and eccentric.



Many of them spend long hours working on their creations



and have little time for social interaction. Others travel the



world with other adventurers and spend most of their time



studying the things they discover and the places they visit. Still



others crave power and devote their lives toward its acquisition.



In all cases, the opportunity for socializing is limited. Most



techno-wizards lack social skills and are somewhat awkward in



group situations. They generally prefer the company of other



techno-wizards, operators, and other mechanics over others. In



these surroundings, they are loose and relaxed. Techno-wizards



who are adventurers are usually much more sociable than their



laboratory brothers and can be the life of the party.



However, among their fellow techno-wizards, they take on a



whole different dynamic. They really open up among other



techno-wizards and enjoy their colleagues' company. They love



to talk shop, give each other helpful hints, and, among close



comrades, even trade building secrets. A few of them seem almost



like Jekyll and Hyde as they are very quiet with others, but



just can't shut up when they're hanging out with their brothers.



Although they usually also get along with other men of magic,



sometimes their differences set them apart. Among scholarly



mages, like Line Walkers and Shifters, a TW may be treated as



an inferior. Set apart due to their unique orientation, many edu



cated



practitioners of magic do not consider techno-wizards to



be true mages. Among intuitive mages, like Mystics and War



locks,



techno-wizards have philosophical differences concerning



technology. These factors often lead to their exclusion from



certain guilds. For this reason, techno-wizards prefer to form



their own guilds. TW guilds are strange gatherings that rarely



involve the conspiracy and posturing that plagues other magic



68



guilds. They have a camaraderie that approaches the brotherhood



that Warlock guilds have. Members trade products and



building designs and can learn new spells. Here techno-wizards



engage in group brainstorming and the development of new de



vices



and gizmos. Together, they have the advantage of different



perspectives and teamwork to over come the obstacles



before them. The techno-wizards of Stormspire are one exam



ple



of a group of techno-wizards who pool their skills and talents



and develop more impressive devices than any one of them



could alone. Unlike other magic guilds, these mages enjoy sharing



their ideas and information and actually function better as a



group. Selfish and evil techno-wizards tend to keep to themselves



in these situations, quietly listening for useful information



and news of discoveries and opportunities. However, most TW



guilds promote teamwork and will eject anyone who is too tightlipped



with their knowledge. Even though a lot of their



achievements are shared between members of the guild, a peck



ing



order is established based on the ingenuity, inventiveness,



creativity, experience, and personal power of the individual



members. Typically the most experienced members are the



leaders of the guild with other factors deciding who the guildmaster



is.



Among some people, the term "humble techno-wizard" may



seem like an oxymoron. How can anyone who can power a machine



with his own personal energy stay humble? Even the



toughest headhunter becomes vulnerable when his E-clips run



out and the strongest Juicer feels a little weak in the knees when



his drug harness runs low. But when the techno-wizard's equipment



runs low, he can power it up with his own potential psychic



energy. Being able to power Mega-damage weaponry with



one's own energy is certainly something to be proud of. But to



other practitioners of magic, being a source of energy is only the



beginning of true power. Manipulating that energy is the secret



to true power. However, it is a secret that techno-wizards aren't



interested in learning. Techno-wizards follow a different path.



Through their devices they can channel their energy into any



number of forms and uses. But ultimately it is the machine that



manipulates the energy, not the TW. This limitation, detrimental



as it may seem, helps to keep them in step with reality. They



say power corrupts, and among archmages this is often proven



true. By contrast, a much lower number of high level techno



wizards



succumb to corruption and lose their sanity. In addition,



no matter how brilliant or powerful the TW may be, long



hours and hard work must be put into the construction of his de



vices



and hard work keeps a man humble.



Even among the magic character classes, techno-wizards



stand out as being the strange ones. They build outrageous



looking machines and dress like pre-rifts aviators. The sight of



a TW wearing a gaudy jewel encrusted helmet or clunky oversized



boots is common. Under their shells, TW machines are



often a mess of wires and spare parts that could not function un



der



other circumstances. Natural gems and crystals are used to



store power and the devices they build do not conform to the



laws of physics as we know it. To fully comprehend them takes



a different perspective. This means that techno-wizards often



do and look at things differently from other people. A TW may



see a bird floating in the sky and think of ways to duplicate its



grace in a wing board. He may see a rainbow and contemplate



ways of containing it in a kaleidoscope. If needed to fix a car,



he may convert the engine to run on telekinetic energy without



69



asking because that's what he does. He takes different tangents



in philosophical conversations with others, due to his familiarity



with metaphysics, hard science, and the fusion of the two. He



may believe the secrets of life may be discovered by combining



divining magic and a portable stereo. He meditates by focusing



on his heartbeat using a sound amplifier and sleeps on folding



floating cot. This uniqueness is a trait that is valued by their fel



low



techno-wizards and carried on by each new generation.



In their early days, techno-wizards wore garments similar to



that of other practitioners of magic. A cloak, cape or robe cov



ered



their bodies and concealed their tool belts and gadgets.



However, the robes sometimes got in the way when the TW had



to go for his guns. Also, techno-wizards saw themselves as be



ing



unique among magic users. Robes were seen as common



place



and boring. They needed something that would set them



apart from other mages. They found it when a well-known TW



explorer discovered the remnants of an aerospace museum and



became infatuated with the garb of early aviators. He took the



outfit home and started wearing it everywhere. It caught on



with the younger techno-wizards in Lazlo. Visiting technowizards



got into it too and soon his discovery spread like wildfire



within the TW community. Goggles, jumpsuits, skullcaps,



jackets, scarves, and leather gloves have become the distinct



trademarks of the techno-wizard. Although it is ridiculed by



some of the more serious-minded practitioners of magic, technowizards



absolutely adore their outfits. They pay top dollar for



authentic pre-rifts aviator gear, which is considered to be high



fashion among techno-wizards. Many armor and clothing



manufacturers take advantage of the techno-wizards aviator fetish



and produce apparel specifically for the TW market.



Understanding the



Techno-Wizard



By Jason Richards



First impressions



When I first started playing Rifts, I found techno-wizardry to



be interesting and at the least really "cool". But, unfortunately



that's where it ended. The O.C.C. never really intrigued me. I



was more interested in the more exciting Cyber-Knights and the



mutants with super abilities. "So what if a lightning rod makes



you Impervious to Energy? It only does 1D6 MD!" It wasn't



until one of my fellow players moved away and the other



shipped off to the Navy that I was left alone with my books and



the Internet. On the Palladium Mailing List, I found a forum



to spew my ideas into.



To have something to contribute, I created some TW



items for fighting Vampires. The ideas grew in my head until I



had a web page and a couple dozen inventions. Now, technowizardry



is my favorite aspect of the game. I ultimately dove



into the life of a techno-wizard and what it must be like. This



was the result.



Some mages are seemingly born with an innate understanding



of rifts and summoning, others live in a sort of harmony



with supernatural forces. Many spend their lives learning vast



numbers of spells while others concentrate on one specialization.



Then there are those who through training, study, and



natural talent can manipulate magic and technology into a com



pletely



new genre: techno-wizardry.



The Techno-Wizard as a mage



The definition of a techno-wizard varies with whom you ask.



To the Coalition, it is just another freak in need of pacification.



To most laymen, it is just another bizarre near human that they



both respect and fear at once. The only ones who have a specific



opinion are their fellow masters of the mystic arts.



To a seasoned Ley Line Walker, a techno-wizard is typically



a second-class sorcerer not unlike a stage magician - plenty of



impressive tricks, but nothing more than illusion. They and oth



ers



like them use terms like "magi-techie" and "pseudo-wizard".



Many mages such as Warlocks, Seers, and Mystics consider



themselves, by nature, pure and techno-wizards therefore impure.



A large percentage of these practitioners hold a kind of



grudge against techno-wizards and find their practices and creations



to be abominations. Techno-wizards do, however, find the



occasional ally within the magic community. Temporal Wizards,



Conjurers, Shifters, and other more specialized wizards



don't have the same type of superiority complex that develops



in traditional spell users when they become more experienced



and powerful (though magic in general does tend to lean in that



direction). They don't view the creations of techno-wizards as



mockeries or abominations, but as a legitimate addition to diversify



their magic arsenal. Also, young mages, especially Line



Walkers, tend not to be as high and mighty as their elders and



will readily use TW devices. Many actually will go crazy for



them, much to the disgust of older members of the order.



The Techno-Wizard as an operator



Techno-wizards aren't always crusading adventurers who



roam the wilderness or the 'Burbs looking for excitement. To



some, it is a profession just like being a blacksmith or mechanic.



While some have weapon shops or armories, many others run



simple repair shops, small stores, restaurants, or any other



number of "normal" professions where they use their gifts. One



of the most common jobs is one similar to an Old West blacksmith.



The mage makes simple household repairs, makes tools



and conveniences, and is the technical man or woman of the



town. There have also recently been several TW doctors who,



using their gifts, make lifesaving paramedic equipment.



Though they are in many ways just as adept as Operators,



they are also ostracized by their community. Even those Opera



tors



who have psionic abilities tend to turn a cold shoulder to a



techno-wizard in need of work, viewing them as cheaters or



fakes. Most techno-wizards don't take this rejection as much to



heart as they do from other mages, with whom they most identify



themselves.



Techno-Wizards as people



What would Freud say about the average techno-wizard?



The stereotypical adventurer wearing outlandish clothing making



weapons of destruction or armor for protection would be an



interesting case study. He would probably find that they were



sexually disturbed, internally angry people who showed their



pent-up emotions through acts of self-glorification. But, what



would the techno-wizard say about himself. He would probably



say that he was independent, but only because he had been cast



out. He would call himself proud, only because the hate of others



had humbled him time and again. He would call himself a



warrior because he secretly longed for inner peace. As a people,



techno-wizards are strong, but defenseless; poor, but rich. In the



end, they are just people. Some are good, some are bad; not un



like



anyone else. In my guess, if the techno-wizard is ever invited



in by the societies he longs for the most, he will decide not



to stay. He will find he is better off in his own company.



New O.C.C.s



Combat



Techno-Wizard O.C.C.



By Jason Richards



Through the past several decades, the magic arts of technowizardry



have developed into many different branches in different



parts of the world or even different regions of North America.



One such tangent was the Combat Techno-Wizard, who



uses his magical and technical abilities to make himself an extremely



capable man-at-arms.



Techno-Wizard Psionic Powers



1. The Combat Techno-Wizard gets the following psionic



abilities: Tele-mechanics, Sixth Sense, Mind Block, and Object



Read.



2.1.S.P.: Roll 4D6 plus the character's M.E. number to deter



mine



the base Inner Strength Points. The techno-wizard is con



sidered



a minor psionic and gains another 1D4 I.S.P. per each



additional level of experience.



3. Saving throw versus psionic attack: As a minor psionic,



the character needs a 12 or higher to save vs. psionics.



70



Techno-Wizard Magic Powers



1. Initial Spell Knowledge: In addition to techno-wizard



powers, the character has a solid understanding of spell magic



and how to tap into ley lines and nexus points for additional



P.P.E. The techno-wizard is not the master of spell magic the



Ley Line Walker or Shifter is, but is still pretty capable. It is



not a lack of understanding in magic that limits the techno



wizard's



spell casting abilities, but his orientation. Consequently,



his spell casting abilities are not the same as other spell



casters. Spell Casting Penalty: All spell ranges, durations,



M.D.C., S.D.C., and damage are half when cast as a spell or ritual



rather than channeled through a TW device.



A combat techno-wizard is primarily interested in those



spells he or she can use in making himself a more formidable



warrior and spends much of his or her time building and modifying



devices to that end.



At level one experience, the character knows the following



spells: Blinding Flash, Fire Bolt, Fire Ball, Call Lightning, En



ergy



Bolt, Energy Field, Impervious to Energy, Telekinesis, Armor



of Ithan, Superhuman Strength, and Superhuman Speed.



At third level a total of three additional spells can be selected



from levels 1-4. The combat techno-wizard will be primarily interested



in those spells that will increase his proficiency in combat.



2. Learning new spells. Additional spells may be bought or



learned at any time, regardless of his current level of experience.



The character will never learn summoning or circles.



3. Magic Bonuses. +3 to save versus horror factor. +1 to



save versus magic at levels three, seven, ten, and thirteen. +1 to



spell strength at levels four, eight, and twelve.



4. P.P.E.: Like all men of magic, the combat techno-wizard is



a living battery of mystic energy that he can draw on to create



magic. Permanent Base P.P.E.: 2D4xlO, in addition to the P.E.



attribute number. Add 2D6 P.P.E. per each additional level of



experience. Of course, the mage can also draw P.P.E. from ley



lines, nexus points, and other people when available.



Attribute Requirements:




I.Q. and M.E. of 12 or higher. Other



high physical attributes are suggested, but not required.



O.C.C. Bonuses:




+1D4 to P.P. and P.S., +!D4xlO to S.D.C., +1



strike and parry with TW or other magic weapon (if applicable).



O.C.C. Skills:



Basic Electronics (+10%)



Basic Mechanics (+10%)



Math: Basic (+10%)



Language, 1 additional (+10%)



Read Sensory Equipment (+10%)



Weapon Systems



Pilot, 2 of choice (+10%)



W.P. Energy Pistol



W.P. Energy Rifle



2 other W.P. skills of choice



Hand to Hand: Expert



Hand to Hand: Martial Arts (or Assassin if evil alignment)



can be learned at the cost of one "other" skill.



O.C.C. Related Skills:




Select five other skills. Plus select one



additional at level three, level six, level nine, and level



twelve. Select an additional W.P. at levels four and seven.



All new skills start at level one proficiency.



Communications: Any (+5%)



Domestic: Any



Electrical: Any, but counts as 2 skills



Espionage: Intelligence, Wilderness Survival, and Sniper



only



Mechanical: Any, but each counts as 2 skills



Medical: First Aid only



Military: Any (+5%)



Physical: Any



Pilot: Any (+5%)



Pilot Related: Any (+5%)



Rogue: Any (+5%)



Science: Math and Chemistry only



Technical: Any (+5%)



W.P.: Any



Wilderness: Any



Secondary Skills:




The character also gets to select five secondary



skills from the list above without the benefit of the bonuses



in parentheses.



Standard Equipment:




work clothes, a set of fatigues, goggles



or sunglasses, multi-optics band, magnifying glass, large and



small flashlight, six signal flares, mini-tool kit, knapsack,



back pack, 1D4 small sacks, one large sack, pocket mirror, a



silver cross, six wooden stakes and a mallet, canteen, binocu



lars,



air filter and gas mask, pocket laser distancer, and a



pocket digital disc recorder/player. Current fashion among



combat techno-wizards is military-style fatigues and a few



small tattoos.



Armor can be light or heavy body armor with three magical



enhancements or an exoskeleton with two magical en



hancements.



The character also starts with a TW vehicle



with two enhancements.



Instead of the above equipment, a combat techno-wizard



may start with a suit of light (less than 300 M.D.C.) power



armor with one techno-wizard enhancement. Please note the



bonuses gained by a psionic using Tele-mechanics in power



armor (see Rifts Sourcebook 1).



Weapons will include a survival knife and three TW



weapons.



Money:




the combat techno-wizard starts with !D4xlOOO in



credit, !D6xlOO in black market items and 2D4xlOOO in



crystals and gems. Combat techno-wizards typically carry



more money than the traditional techno-wizard.



Cybernetics:




Starts with none and will avoid them at all costs.



Bio-systems will be the priority if prosthetics become necessary.



71



Texas Slinger O.C.C.



By Mark Sumimoto



The New West is a vast wilderness seen by many Easterners



as the new frontier. Many have traveled to this new land to escape



the tyranny of the Coalition States and the impending conflicts



which will send the East into a turmoil. Others travel west



because of its romantic image and atmosphere of adventure.



The Texas Slingers fall into the latter category.



They started as a small band of adventuring Techno-wizards



who were touring the New West. On their way home to Lazlo,



they stopped to rest in one of the larger frontier towns. There



they witnessed a bank robbery committed by a group of gunslingers.



The local sheriff and deputies rushed to the scene and



pitted their gunfighting skills against these brigands. The



Techno-wizards watched in amazement at the skill and speed of



the gunslingers and the lawmen before they stepped in to aid the



sheriff. The gunslingers were soon rounded up and the sheriff



expressed his gratitude to the travelers by making them honor



ary



deputies.



After returning home, they talked for days about their experience



and decided that they would form a group of gunfighters.



Although they had the dexterity needed to learn the sharpshooting



skills it would take them years to do so. Instead, they turned



to the skills they already knew and designed equipment that



would enable them to simulate the skills of the gunslinger. After



months of research and testing they were ready. They rode



off to Lone Star and stopped in a known Pecos Raider town.



Once there, they carried themselves like real hardened gunslingers.



It wasn't long before trouble found them. A gang led by a



Wired 'Slinger began hassling the newcomers and threatened



them verbally. Eventually, things got physical. As if by magic,



the visiting techno-wizards sprung into action. The outlaws,



who just seconds earlier saw a group of sissies waiting to be



beaten, were surprised by the display of speed and reflexes before



them. The bandits were run out of town in a matter of minutes



and when the smoke cleared, a young boy asked the men



who they were. They stood silent, still surprised by their own



speed and caught off guard by the question. They needed something



more menacing than TW Slinger. The techno-wizards



looked at each other and began mumbling, "Techno, Tekkie,



Tech-wiz...". Then one of them looked up and said, "Texas".



And so on that day in a small town in Lone Star, the Texas



Slinger was born.



Since then they have taught their skills and designs to a



number of students, whom they have sworn to secrecy so that no



one outside the founders and their students may become Texas



Slingers. Thus, maintaining a level of uniqueness and ensuring



that they be the only true Texas Slingers. Outside of their



equipment, they have only the basic skills with pistols and revolvers.



But using their TW gear, they can fire their guns with



blazing speed and pinpoint accuracy. That coupled with their



other TW equipment makes them as dangerous as the Gunslinger,



Wired Slinger, and even the feared Psi-slinger.



Unlike true gunslingers, Texas Slingers rarely hire themselves



out as hit men. They tend to be adventurers and wellintentioned



bounty hunters. They sometimes become lawmen or



defenders, but are usually wandering nomads in search of adventure



and challenges.



Please note that the Texas Slinger has no sharpshooting skills



or any of the special abilities of the true gunslingers, nor can



they select any. This means that without their gear, they are no



more adept at firing their guns than any other person trained in



standard weapon proficiencies. After a few minutes of fighting,



the Texas Slinger may drain himself of all his P.P.E. and be next



to helpless if his opponents are still standing, especially if those



opponents are professional gunfighters who aren't amused by



the techno-wizards' attempt to replicate their hard earned skills.



See the New



West for more details concerning gunslingers,



72



gunfighters, and other New West characters, as well as TW revolvers



and weapons.



Texas Slinger Abilities:



1. Psionic Powers:




Same as the standard techno-wizard:



Mind Block, Speed Reading, Total Recall, and Tele-mechanics.



I.S.P is 4D6 plus the M.E. attribute number and an additional



1D4 I.S.P. per each additional level of experience. Considered



to be a minor psionic, the character needs a 12 or higher to save.



2. Magic Powers:




Same limits and penalties as the standard



Techno-wizard, with all spells and rituals cast at half proficiency,



range, duration, damage, etc., unless built into a TW device.



However, their skill in building ley line devices and



adding enchantments to vehicles are not as developed as their



other skills. These conversions require twice the usual P.P.E. if



done by a Texas Slinger. Initial spell knowledge includes:



Globe of Daylight, Energy Bolt, Telekinesis, Teleport: Lesser,



Watchguard, Superhuman Speed, Magical-adrenal Rush, Speed



Weapon and Eyes of the Wolf. No additional spells are gained



at later levels other than new spells which may be learned and/or



purchased as usual. TW Slingers are primarily interested in



spells that may be applied to weapons and speed. Secondary



areas of interests include sensory and camouflage spells.



Special Texas Slinger Equipment:




The Texas Slinger has a



number of items which gives them their unique abilities. The



knowledge of the construction of this equipment is never shared



with anyone outside of their guild, although a competent technowizard



will be able to figure out their devices if he puts his mind



to it.



1. Quick Draw Helmet: This helmet is often designed to



look like a metal cowboy hat with a number of gems and crystals



encrusted in it with a pair of connected goggles and a plate



covering the lower face. It can be charged and will remain in its



passive mode for 24 hours. However, once the wearer enters a



combat situation, the helmet will light up and give it user the reflexes



and speed to simulate a true gunslinger. It activates a



split second before an ambush or surprise attack is sprung, ensuring



that the user has time to react. In addition, the user is



given sharper senses and the ability to use his weapons with



greater speed and accuracy. This device may not be used in ad



dition



to the spell, Magical-adrenal Rush and revolvers and



modern weapons of all sorts cannot be enchanted with the spell,



Speed Weapon.



Initial P.P.E. cost:




250 P.P.E.



Spells needed:




Energy Bolt (5), Eyes of the Wolf (25 P.P.E.),



Watchguard (10), Speed Weapon (100), Superhuman Speed



(10), and Magical-adrenal Rush (45).



Physical Requirements:




A helmet of some sort, usually of



their own design and of Mega-damage construction (25-50



M.D.C.) plus 6 quartz crystals, 1 blue topaz and 1 ruby both



worth 1000 credits each.



Weight:




4 to 5 pounds, rather hefty.



P.P.E. required to use:




30 P.P.E. to charge the helmet.



Duration of charge:




The helmet will retain its charge for up to



24 hours while in passive mode. Once in its active mode, the



charge will be used up after one minute per level of the user.



Bonuses and Abilities:




+3 to initiative, +1 to strike in hand to



hand combat and with pistols and revolvers of all sorts, +3 to



parry, +4 to dodge, +2 to disarm on a "called" shot, +2 to



save vs. horror factor, two additional attacks per melee while



using pistols and revolvers only, nightvision 120 ft, see the



invisible, and cannot be taken by surprise or ambush as long



as the helmet is charged.



2. Quick Draw Holsters: These holsters allow the Texas



Slinger to draw his weapons without even lifting a finger. The



handguns wait in these holsters until summoned. Upon mental



command and the expenditure of P.P.E., the weapons instantly



appear in the hands of the Texas Slinger. Used in conjunction



with the helmet, the wizard can win any quick draw shoot out.



Initial P.P.E. cost:




60 P.P.E.



Spells Needed:




Teleport: Lesser (15) and energy bolt (5)



Physical Requirements:




A pair of holsters, most prefer leather,



and 2 diamonds worth 500 credits each.



P.P.E. required to use:




10 P.P.E.



Duration:




Instant



Bonuses and Abilities:




Any handgun nestled in the holsters



will instantly appear in the hands of the user with a mental



command and expenditure of P.P.E. When used in the beginning



of the melee round, this gives the user a bonus of +4 on



initiative for that melee only.



Magic Bonuses:




+1 to save vs. horror factor at levels 1, 3, 6 and



10. +1 to save vs. magic at levels 3, 7, 10, and 13. + 1 to



spell strength at levels 4, 8, and 12.



P.P.E.: 2D4xlO plus the P.E. attribute number. Add 2D6 P.P.E.



at each additional level of experience and the mage can draw



additional P.P.E. from other people, ley lines and nexus



points.



Texas Slinger



Also known as:




TW Slinger, Tech-whiz Slinger and Slinger



Wannabees, usually called the latter by real gunslingers and



gunfighters.



Alignment Restrictions:




None, but most are good or selfish.



Quite a contrast from their non-magical models, but then



again these mages are more like gunslinger wannabees than



the actual weapon masters.



Attribute Requirements:




I.Q. 12, M.E. 12 and P.P. 12 or



higher. A higher P.P. is suggested, but not really needed



since most of their speed is derived from their equipment.



Race Restrictions:




None, except for races without magical aptitude,



but most (90%) are human. This is a relatively new



O.C.C. and hasn't had much opportunity to spread to a variety



of races.



Player Character Note:




These magic-users are much more



relaxed and fun-loving than their mundane counterparts. Most



enjoy pitting their magical equipment against the skills of the



real deals. These false gunfighters tend to be dramatic and a little



goofy, especially compared to the grizzled veteran killers and



professional assassins. Their thrill-seeking attitude and pre



sumption



that they can match hard work and natural aptitude



with fancy gizmos make them the targets of humorless gunslingers



and gunfighters, which oddly enough is welcome by Texas



Slingers eager to test themselves.



O.C.C.




Skills:



Languages: American 90% and two of choice (one is usually



Spanish) at+15%



Literacy: One of choice (+10%)



Radio: Basic (+5%)



Math: Basic (+10%)



Armorer (+15%)



73



Basic Electronics (+15%)



Computer Operation (+5%)



Land Navigation (+10%)



Horsemanship: General (+5%)



W.P. Energy Pistol



W.P. Revolver



Hand to hand combat: Basic; may be upgraded to expert at



the cost of one "other" skill or to martial arts (or assassin, if



evil) at the cost of two "other" skills



O.C.C. Related Skills:




Select six skills at level one, plus one



additional skill at levels 3, 5, 7, 9, 12 and 15.



Communications: Any (+5%)



Cowboy: None



Domestic: Any



Electrical: Any, but each skill counts as two skill selections



Espionage: Any (+5%)



Mechanical: Any, but each skill counts as two skill selections



Medical: First aid only



Military: Any



Physical: Any, except Boxing, Wrestling and Acrobatics



Piloting: Any



Pilot Related: Any



Rogue: Any (+5%)



Science: Any (+5%)



Technical: Any (+5%)



Weapon Proficiencies: Any



Wilderness: Any (+5%)



Secondary Skills:




Select two secondary skills at level one, plus



one additional at levels, 2, 6, 10, and 14 from those listed excluding



those marked "None". These are additional areas of



knowledge that do not get the advantage of the bonus listed



in parentheses. All secondary skills start at the base skill



level.



Standard Equipment:




Sunglasses, two sets of western style apparel,



cowboy boots and spurs, leather gloves, survival kit,



silver cross, six wooden stakes and mallet, canteen, ah" filter



and gas mask, pocket laser distancer, FDD recorder/player,



and a handheld computer, in addition to the special equipment



listed previously.



Light M.D.C. body armor, usually one of the light styles



listed in the New



West that has two techno-wizard additions,



excluding Invisibility: Superior, Giant, Magical-adrenal



Rush, and Invincible Armor. Impervious to energy, Armor



of Ithan, Armor Bizarre, Invulnerability, and Superhuman



Speed are common selections. Magical-adrenal Rush cannot



be used in addition to the Quick Draw helmet.



Weapons include a survival knife and two TW handguns



of choice. See New



West for TW revolvers and other equipment,



as well as the gunslingers and gunfighters this O.C.C.



is based on.



Starts with one wing board or tree trimmer and one other



vehicle of choice. Available vehicles include living horses,



motorcycles, hovercycles, dune buggies, and other hovercraft.



They covet robot horses, bionic horses and, especially



the majestic Techno-wizard Glittermount, but they are not



available initially.



Money:




Starts with !D4xlOO in credits, 1D6 X 1000 in black



market items, and !D6xlOOO in crystals and gems.



Cybernetics:




Starts with none and will avoid them, except for



medical reasons.



Techno-Wizard



Aviator O.C.C.



By Mark Sumimoto



These variants of the classic Techno-wizard are growing in



popularity at incredible rapidity, due to the Techno-wizards fascination



with aviator gear. The TW Aviator specializes in the



areas of building and piloting aircraft and flying machines.



When they step out of their Ley Line flyers with their scarves



flapping in the wind, they feel a certain pride in knowing that



they are true aviators worthy of the jackets they wear. This



causes some envy and resentment from 'standard' technowizards



who feel that they are no less worthy of the fashionable



gear than some elitist snobs who wouldn't know the difference



between a pickup truck and a tank (this is an exaggeration, but



not far off the mark since most TW aviators don't know auto



mechanics and don't care). But for the most part, regular



techno-wizards and Aviators get along well and rarely engage in



anything more fierce than friendly rivalry and sarcastic exchanges.



Many TW Aviators earn their living by repairing, modifying,



and converting aircraft of all sorts, transporting packages and



parcels for paying customers, especially other mages, perform



ing



in aerial shows for carnivals, and as adventurers or explorers



into uncharted territories. Some leam aircraft fighter skills and



hire themselves out as combat pilots. These TW Aviator fighter



pilots will be in high demand during the Coalition siege on



Tolkeen.



While they specialize in the building and flying of aircraft,



they are familiar with all the other techno-wizard construction



and conversion processes. Their knowledge of weapon and land



vehicle conversions is the same as the standard conversions



listed in the Rifts RPG but at twice the P.P.E. cost. Where they



excel is in ley line aerial vehicle conversions which they can



perform in half the listed time and at half the P.P.E. cost. All



other abilities are available as normal.



TW Aviator O.C.C. Abilities:



1. Psionic Powers:




Same as the standard techno-wizard:



Mind Block, Speed Reading, Total Recall, and Tele-mechanics.



I.S.P is 4D6 plus the M.E. attribute number and an additional



1D4 I.S.P. per each additional level of experience. Considered



to be a minor psionic, the character needs a 12 or higher to save.



2. Magic Powers:




Same limits and penalties as the standard



techno-wizard, with all spells and rituals cast at half proficiency,



range, duration, damage, etc., unless built into a TW device. In



addition, they perform ley line aircraft conversions at half the



P.P.E. cost and in half the time, but require twice the P.P.E. for



weapon and vehicle conversions. Initial spell knowledge in



cludes:



Energy Bolt, Energy Field, Fingers of the Wind, Fly, Fly



as the Eagle, Globe of Daylight, Levitation, Telekinesis, and



Wind Rush. Select three additional spells at level three from



magic levels 1-4. New spells may be learned and/or purchased



as usual. TW Aviators are primarily interested in spells that



may be applied to flying machines, such as air, wind, and flying



spells. Secondary areas of interest include spells which can be



added as magical features to vehicles and sensory spells for sen



sors



and navigational equipment.



74



Special Aviator Training:




Pilot ley line vehicles at 80% + 2%



per level of experience or add 10% to the base skill of any



other ley line flyer or magic aircraft.



Magic Bonuses:




+1 to save vs. horror factor at levels 1, 4, and



9. +1 to save vs. magic at levels 3, 7, 10, and 13. + 1 to spell



strength at levels 5 and 11.



P.P.E.: 2D4xlO + 8 plus the P.E. attribute number. Add 2D6



P.P.E. at each additional level of experience and the mage



can draw additional P.P.E. from other people and especially



ley lines and nexus points.



Techno-Wizard Aviator



Alignment Restrictions:




None, but entertainers, couriers and



adventurers are usually good or selfish. Combat pilots range



from good to evil.



Also known as:




TW Aviator, TW Flyboy, or simply "Aviators".



Attribute Requirements:




I.Q. 12, M.E. 12, P.E. 12 or higher.



A high P.P. is suggested, but not required.



Race Restrictions:




No restrictions, except for those races without



magical aptitude, although most (80%) are human.



Player Character Note:




TW Aviators tend to be wild-eyed



thrill-seekers who love the feel of the wind in their hair and the



sight of the ground far below them. Most love the adventure of



flying over unknown territory and performing dangerous aerial



maneuvers. They enjoy performing death-defying aerial feats



and weaving in between canyon walls, alien forests, and enemy



aircraft.



O.C.C. Skills:



Languages: American 90% and two additional languages at



+15%



Literacy: One of choice (usually American, at +10%)



Radio: Basic (+15%)



Carpentry (+15%)



Computer Operation (+5%)



Basic Electronics (+10%)



Aircraft Mechanics (+15%)



Read Sensory Equipment (+10%)



Navigation (+10%)



Weapons Systems (+5%)



Math: Basic (+20%)



Pilot: Aircraft (+20%)



Hand to hand combat may be selected as an "other" skill.



Basic counts as one skill selection, expert counts as two selections,



and martial arts (or assassin, if evil) counts as three.



O.C.C. Related Skills:




Select seven skills at level one, plus one



additional skill at levels 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 and 14.



Communications: Any (+5%)



Cowboy: None



Domestic: Any



Electrical: Any, but each skill counts as two skill selections.



Espionage: Wilderness Survival only



Mechanical: Any, but each skill counts as two skill selections.



75



Medical: First Aid or Paramedic only



Military: Any



Physical: Any, except Boxing, Wrestling, or Acrobatics



(+10% to the rappelling half of the climb skill)



Piloting: Any (+15% to any aircraft only)



Pilot Related: Any (+10% to Parachuting)



Rogue: Any



Science: Any (+5%, +10% to Astronomy)



Technical: Any (+5%)



Weapon Proficiencies: Any



Wilderness: Any



Secondary Skills:




Select three secondary skills at level one,



plus one additional at levels 4, 8, and 12 from those listed excluding



those marked "None". These are additional areas of



knowledge that do not get the advantage of the bonus listed



in parentheses. All secondary skills start at the base skill



level.



Standard Equipment:




One set of work clothes and one set of



nice clothing, pilot's jumpsuit and flight jacket, work boots,



aviator headgear and goggles, white scarf, sunglasses, minitool



kit, six signal flares, gas mask and air filter, multi-optics



band, FDD recorder/player, and a hand-held computer.



Body armor can be any light style with one techno-wizard



feature, excluding Impervious to Energy, Invisibility: Superior,



Giant, Magical-adrenal Rush, and Invincible Armor.



Most commonly chosen features are breathe without air, levitation,



and impervious to fire.



Weapons will be light and easily stored in a pilot's compartment.



Starts with a survival knife and one TW converted



pistol and rifle or second pistol of choice.



Vehicles include one wing board or tree trimmer and one



TK-flyer or small to medium sky boat with two additional



TW features of choice, excluding impervious to energy.



Money:




Starts with 2D4xlOO in credits, 3D6 X 10 in black market



items, and 2D6xlOOO in crystals and gems.



Cybernetics:




Starts with none and will avoid getting any, except



for medical reasons



Techno-Wizard Gun



became top priority. New spell incantations were developed



and more dangerous monsters were discovered. Likewise, the



techno-wizards tweaked their inventions and increased their



firepower. A small group of these techno-wizards became convinced



that heavy firepower was the means by which they



Bunny O.C.C.



By Mark Sumimoto



If you wish to keep your teeth, never call these Tactical



Weapon Specialists, "Gun Bunnies". However, if there are



none around, go ahead. Everyone else does. The TW Gun



Bunny is a builder and user of heavy artillery. They formed in



the battle zones between Tolkeen and Chi-town. Against power



armor and robot vehicles of the Coalition, Shifters unleashed



their demons and monsters. Line Walkers protected themselves



and their allies with magic force fields and launched counterattacks



using energy spells and mental manipulation. Warlocks



used the forces of nature and raging Elementals to trample en



emy



troops. Mystics tended to the injured and constructed



strategies after foreseeing the enemies movements. Technowizards



fought using their weapons and vehicles. In the small



conflicts surrounding Tolkeen, this was enough to give them the



upper hand. But after the Coalition unveiled its new and improved



military, development of better magic and bigger guns



76



would defend themselves and defeat the Coalition. They call



themselves TW Tactical Weapon Specialists or TW-TWS for



shoit.



However, this name was too long and its acronym too strange



for most people. Then as a group of TW TWS were walking



into the battle zones in full battle gear, someone remembered a



pre-rifts slang for people who draped themselves in weapons.



Thus, the term "Gun Bunny" was reintroduced to the world.



The more militant of this group will steam up and deliver a serious



warning to anyone who uses the term, followed by a barrage



of energy blasts, if the offender does not comply. The majority,



for the most part, takes the name in stride. However, they will



raise their weapons if the joke is pushed too far.



These techno-wizards are warriors and weaponsmiths who



believe in the value of walking quietly and carrying a big gun.



Rifles and portable cannons are their weapons of choice, the



bigger the better. For hand to hand combat only swords, hammers,



and maces are big enough. Pistols and knives are seen as



useful back-up weapons only. Hiding is an option only in preparing



an ambush and surrender is never an option at all. These



are gung-ho soldiers who love the feel of a big gun in their arms



and the sound of the enemy running in defeat. A TW Gun



Bunny feels most comfortable in the presence of other warriors,



be they dependant on technology, magic, or brute strength. He



respects Borgs, Juicers, Headhunters, Bounty Hunters, and espe



cially



Glitter Boy pilots. They love Glitter Boy power armor



and most would love to get their hands on one so they can juice



it up with enchantments and have that sonic boom announce



their presence in battle.



Among techno-wizards of other orientations, they act macho



and tough. They point out the power of their guns and talk



down to their wing board flying brothers. In retaliation, the



other techno-wizards use the "G" word and ask if they have read



the works of Sigmund Freud. This leads to brawls and fist



fights, but only rarely have weapons been drawn. However,



these fights are mostly of the harmless bar brawl type and afterwards



both sides recognize the validity of the other and go their



separate ways.



1. Psionic Powers:




Same as the standard Techno-wizard:



Mind Block, Speed Reading, Total Recall, and Tele-mechanics.



I.S.P is 4D6 plus the M.E. attribute number and an additional



1D4 I.S.P. per each additional level of experience. Considered



to be a minor psionic, the character needs a 12 or higher to save.



2. Magic Powers:




Same limits and penalties as the standard



Techno-wizard, with all spells and rituals cast at half proficiency,



range, duration, damage, etc., unless built into a TW device.



Their orientation is towards weapons, armor, and vehicles



which they can build and modify in half the time. All other con



versions



take twice as long. Initial spell knowledge includes



Globe of Daylight, Energy Bolt, Power Bolt, Fire Bolt, Call



Lightning, Fire Gout, Superhuman Strength, Telekinesis, Energy



Field, and Impervious to Energy: Gains the spells: Subparticle



Acceleration, Lightning Arc, and one of choice from



magic levels 1-6 at level three. New spells may be learned



and/or purchased as usual. TW are primarily interested in energy



spells and defensive magic. Secondary areas of interests



include travel and camouflage magic.



Magic Bonuses:




+1 to save vs. horror factor at levels 1, 4,



8,and 12. +1 to save vs. magic at levels 3, 8, and 13. +1 to spell



strength at levels 5 and 11.



P.P.E.: 2D4xlO+8 plus the P.E. attribute number. Add 2D6



P.P.E. at each additional level of experience and the mage can



craw additional P.P.E. from other people and ley lines and



nexus points.



Techno-Wizard Gun Bunny



Also known as:




TW Tactical Weapons Specialist (their chosen



name), TW Gun Nut, and "the walking arsenal"



Alignment Restrictions:




Most are unprincipled or anarchist.



They view the collateral damage caused by their overkill



weapons as a consequence of war and their weapons deliver a



lot of it. Good aligned characters may be constrained in



combat situations when innocent bystanders are around. Aberrant



aligned characters will also be obliged to hold their fire



around bystanders, unless they believe the entire community



to be guilty of a crime. Evil characters may view bystanders



as innocent, but don't care.



Attribute Requirements:




I.Q. 12, M.E. 12, P.P. 10, and P.E.



10 or higher. The higher the better where P.P. and P.E. are



concerned and a high P.S. is recommended, but not required.



Race Restrictions:




None, except for races without magical potential.



Most are human (80%) with some ogres, elves and



other D-Bee races.



Player Character Note:




The typical TW Gun Bunny is a



macho, tough-guy with tendency to spit and use crude language.



Most are eager and willing to jump into battle and prove themselves



and their equipment. The sounds of battle gets his pulse



going and the triumph over an opponent is the greatest of



achievements. However, experienced Gun Bunnies who have



seen the consequences of war know that victory often comes at



great cost. They will be more careful with the use of heavy



weapons and may only use them for heavy combat. Young and



ignorant Gun Bunnies see this as a sign of aging and may consider



the veteran to be past his prime. These young soldiers will



eventually experience for themselves the trials their forerunners



have, if they survive that long.



O.C.C. Skills:



Language: American at 90% plus two of choice at +15%



Literacy: One of choice (+10%)



Radio: Basic (+10%)



Math: Basic (+20%)



Computer Operation (+5%)



Basic Electronics (+15%)



Armorer (+20%)



Weapon Systems (+10%)



W.P. Energy Rifle



W.P. Heavy Energy Weapons



W.P. two of choice



Hand to hand combat: Basic; can be upgraded to Expert at



the cost of one "other" skill selection or Martial Arts at the



cost of two.



O.C.C. Related Skills:




Select six skills at level one, plus one



additional skill at levels 2, 4, 6, 8, 11, and 14.



Communications: Any (+5%)



Cowboy: None



Domestic: Any



Electrical: Any, but each skill counts as two skill selections.



Espionage: Any



Mechanical: Any, but each skill counts as two skill selections.



77



Medical: First Aid or Paramedic only



Military: Any (+10%)



Physical: Any, except Wrestling and Acrobatics



Piloting: Any (+10%)



Pilot Related: Any (+5%)



Rogue: Any



Science: Any



Technical: Any (+5%)



Weapon Proficiencies: Any



Wilderness: Any (+5%)



Secondary Skills:




Select two secondary skills at level one, plus



one additional at levels 3, 6, and 10 from those listed excluding



those marked "None". These are additional areas of



knowledge that do not get the advantage of the bonus listed



in parentheses. All secondary skills start at the base skill



level.



Standard Equipment:




A set of combat fatigues, a set of casual



clothes, sunglasses, multi-optic band, pocket flashlight, large



flashlight, six signal flares, mini-tool kit, a backpack, four



large sacks, canteen, binoculars, air filter and gas mask,



pocket laser distancer, FDD recorder/player for recording the



war journal, and a hand-held computer.



Medium to heavy M.D.C. armor with two TW features of



choice, excluding Invisibility: Superior, Magical Adrenal



Rush, Giant, and Invincible Armor. Most common features



are Armor of Ithan, Armor Bizarre, Impervious to Energy,



Invulnerability, and Superhuman Strength. Magical-adrenal



Rush and Invincible Armor are often added later.



Weapons include a survival knife, three TW energy weapons



of choice, and one TW ancient style weapon. Remem



ber,



the bigger the better.



Starts with one TW converted vehicle of choice with one



magic feature, excluding Invisibility: Superior. Most Gun



Bunnies like heavy ground vehicles like ATVs, tanks, trucks,



hovercraft, etc.



Money:




!D6xlOO credits, 1D4 X 1000 in black market items,



and 2D4xlOOO in crystals and gems.



Cybernetics:




None to start and will avoid getting any, except



for medical reasons.



Techno-Wizard



Thief O.C.C.



By Jason Richards



Through the past several decades, the magic arts of technowizardry



have developed into many different branches in differ



ent



parts of the world or even different regions of North Amer



ica.



One such tangent was the Techno-Wizard Thief, who uses



his magical and technical abilities to make himself an extremely



capable rogue, scoundrel, and city rat. He is the scourge of the



magic society and is very proud of it.



Techno-Wizard Psionic Powers



1. The Techno-Wizard Thief gets the following psionic abili



ties:



Tele-mechanics, Presence Sense, Mind Block, and Alter



Aura.



2.1.S.P.: Roll 4D6 plus the character's M.E. number to determine



the base Inner Strength Points. The techno-wizard is considered



a minor psionic and gains another 1D4 I.S.P. per each



additional level of experience.



3. Saving throw versus psionic attack: As a minor psionic,



the character needs a 12 or higher to save vs. psionics.



Techno-Wizard Magic Powers



1. Initial Spell Knowledge: In addition to techno-wizard



powers, the character has a solid understanding of spell magic



and how to tap into ley lines and nexus points for additional



P.P.E. The techno-wizard is not the master of spell magic the



Ley Line Walker and Shifter are, but is still pretty capable. It is



not a lack of understanding in magic that limits the technowizard's



spell casting abilities, but his orientation. Consequently,



his spell casting abilities are not the same as other spell



casters. Spell Casting Penalty: All spell ranges, durations,



M.D.C., S.D.C., and damage are half when cast as a spell or rit



ual



rather than channeled through a TW device.



A techno-wizard thief is primarily interested in those spells



he or she can use in making himself a more formidable thief and



spends much of his or her time building and modifying devices



to that end.



At level one experience, the character knows the following



spells: Blinding Flash, Fire Bolt, Concealment, Call Lightning,



Energy Bolt, Energy Field, Impervious to Energy, Telekinesis,



Invisibility: Simple, Energy Disruption, and Escape.



At third level a total of three additional spells can be selected



from levels 1-4. The techno-wizard thief will be primarily interested



in those spells that will increase his proficiency in stealth



and cunning.



2. Learning new spells. Additional spells may be bought or



learned at any time, regardless of his current level of experience.



The character will never learn summoning or circles.



3. Magic Bonuses. +2 to save versus horror factor. +1 to



save versus magic at levels three, seven, ten, and thirteen. +1 to



spell strength at levels four, eight, and twelve.



4. P.P.E.: Like all men of magic, the techno-wizard thief is a



living battery of mystic energy that he can draw on to create



magic. Permanent Base P.P.E.: 2D4xlO, in addition to the P.E.



attribute number. Add 2D6 P.P.E. per each additional level of



experience. Of course, the mage can also draw P.P.E. from ley



lines, nexus points, and other people when available.



Alignment Restrictions:




Selfish or evil only



Attribute Requirements:




I.Q., M.E. and P.P of 11 or higher



O.C.C. Bonuses:




+1D4 to P.P. and M.A., +10 to S.D.C.



O.C.C. Skills:



Basic Electronics (+5%)



Basic Mechanics (+5%)



Language, 1 additional (+5%)



Pilot, 1 of choice (+10%)



Pick Pockets (+15%)



Pick Locks (+10%)



Concealment (+15%)



Prowl (+10%)



Hand to Hand must be learned as a separate skill. Basic



costs one other skill, Expert two, and Martial Arts or Assas



sin



three.



O.C.C. Related Skills:




Select ten other skills, but at least three



must be espionage or rogue. Plus select one additional at



level three, level six, level nine, and level twelve.



78



Communications: Any (+5%)



Domestic: Any



Electrical: Any except Robot Electronics, each counts as 2



skills



Espionage: Any except Sniper, (+10%)



Mechanical: Any except Robot Mechanics or Weapons Engineer,



each counts as 2 skills



Medical: First Aid and Criminal Sciences only



Military: Any except Armorer and Nuclear, Biological and



Chemical Warfare



Physical: Any except Acrobatics and Wrestling



Pilot: Any (+5%)



Pilot Related: Any (+5%)



Rogue: Any (+10%)



Science: Math only



Technical: Any



W.P.: Any



Wilderness: Any (+5%)



Secondary Skills:




The character also gets to select five secondary



skills from the list above without the benefit of the bonuses



in parentheses.



Standard Equipment:




work clothes, a set of fatigues, goggles



or sunglasses, multi-optics band, magnifying glass, large and



small flashlights, six signal flares, mini-tool kit, knapsack,



back pack, 1D4 small sacks, one large sack, pocket mirror, a



silver cross, six wooden stakes and a mallet, canteen, binoculars,



air filter and gas mask, pocket laser distancer, a pocket



digital disc recorder/player and both a video and still-frame



camera. Current fashion among techno-wizard thieves is



leather jackets and body piercing, much like the city rat.



Armor can be light with two TW enhancements. The



character also starts with a light TW vehicle (usually a motorcycle



or dune buggy) with two enhancements.



Weapons will include a survival knife and two TW weapons.



The character will also have several TW espionage devices



of his design.



Money:




the techno-wizard thief starts with 2D4xlOOO in credit,



!D6xlOO in black market items and !D4xlOOO in crystals



and gems. TW thieves tend to hoard their money.



Cybernetics:




Starts with none and will avoid them at all costs.



Bio-systems will be the priority if prosthetics become necessary.



Techno-Wizard Vamp



Hunter O.C.C.______



By Mark Sumimoto



Undead monsters roam the plains of Mexico. They are vulnerable



only to a handful of substances. These creatures are



vampires and in the dark of night they dominate the wastelands



of Mexico and the southern plains of North America. Water and



wood are their most common weaknesses. Water and wood are



also two very scarce commodities in the dry arid desert that



these monsters call home. That is their most powerful defense



against the forces of man. Many settlements have drained their



drinking water supply to keep these monsters away from their



homes. Many townsfolk have torn down their homes and left



themselves vulnerable to the elements to make weapons capable



of defending against the vampires. But when all their resources



are depleted, then they are powerless and helpless to stop the encroaching



vampire pestilence. It takes magic to keep the water



and wood from running out. Only supernatural power can summon



a life-giving and undead-killing rainstorm during the dry



season of a desert. This is where the TW Vamp Hunter comes



in.



They originated in the civilized areas of Mexico. Vampire



hunters and resistance fighters struggled to distribute their limited



resources without leaving themselves vulnerable to future



raids. A well can only contain so much water and sometimes



hard choices had to be made between defense against the supernatural



and survival against the elements. Only one thing could



alleviate these concerns and keep them from depleting their



natural resources: Magic. Warlocks and mages of all types are



actively recruited by vampire hunting teams for the express purpose



of magically replenishing used resources as well as lending



their formidable powers in combat. In time, these groups realized



that Techno-wizards were especially useful. Any master of



magic with the right knowledge can create wooden stakes or a



stream of water from thin air, but only the Techno-wizard can



instill these abilities in a device which can be used by others.



TW vampire weapons have long been known to be more effective



and powerful than comparable mundane weapons. Moreover,



these devices can release their payload with every pull of



the trigger, as opposed to a spell which must be recast every



time it is to be used. Techno-wizards affiliated with the vampire



hunting organizations Reid's Rangers and the Children of Quetzalcoatl,



were the first to begin training their students specifically



with the spell knowledge and skills needed to build



vampire killing devices. These students received further training



in vampire lore and hand to hand combat from the seasoned



warriors in the camp. This new breed of techno-wizards was



first named by Doc Reid, the leader of Reid's Rangers, as TW



Vamp Hunters. Now they are counted among Undead Slayers



and Psi-stalkers as the best vampire hunters around.



In the land of Mexico, the TW Vamp Hunter is a blessing.



They have learned that everything there is to know about their



foe and they are familiar with their every weak point. Armed



with water pistols and wood-firing rail guns these courageous



men and women charge headlong into the undying hordes. They



also spend a lot of time building weapons for other brave souls



to use. Although they specialize in fighting vampires, TW



Vamp Hunters must be skilled and armed for dealing with all



types of opponents. Most of the vampire civilizations rely on



allies to handle opponents who are well-prepared for the vampires'



strange invulnerability. This means that the Vamp Hunter



must be ready to handle opponents ranging from supernatural



demons to mind-controlled headhunters. The majority of TW



Vamp Hunters are members of Reid's Rangers or The Children



of Quetzalcoatl, but a number travel in small groups or with



other adventurers throughout Mexico and other parts of North



and South America, especially the latter. A few have even traveled



to other lands in search of other areas of infestation and future



trouble spots. See Rifts



Vampire Kingdoms for details



concerning vampires, their weaknesses, and Reid's Rangers and



see



Conversion Book Two: Pantheons of the Megaverse for



details concerning the Children of Quetzalcoatl.



79



1. Psionic Powers:




Same as the standard techno-wizard:



Mind Block, Speed Reading, Total Recall, and Tele-mechanics.



T.S.P is 6D6 plus the M.E. attribute number and an additional



1D4 IJS.P. per each additional level of experience. Considered



to be a minor psionic, the character needs a 12 or higher to save.



They use mind block extensively while fighting vampires to



protect themselves from their hypnotic powers.



2. Magic Powers:




Same limits and penalties as the standard



techno-wizard, with all spells and rituals cast at half proficiency,



range, duration, damage, etc., unless built into a TW device.



Initial spell knowledge includes: Globe of Daylight, Energy



Bolt, Energy Field, Telekinesis, Create Wood, Create Water, Ignite



Fire, Fuel Flame, Lifeblast, Sense Evil, and Sense Magic.



At level three he learns the spells: Repel Animals, Lightblade



and one of choice from magic levels 1-4. New spells may be



learned and/or purchased as usual. TW Vamp Hunters are pri



marily



interested in spells that may be applied to the construction



of vampire slaying weapons, such as Summon Rain,



Summon Storm, Dessicate the Supernatural, etc. Secondary areas



of interests include energy spells and defensive magic.



Magic Bonuses:




+1 to save vs. horror factor at levels 1, 3, 6, 9



and 12. +1 to save vs. magic at levels 3, 7, 10, and 13. + 1



to spell strength at levels 5 and 11.



P.P.E.: 2D4xlO plus the P.E. attribute number. Add 2D6 P.P.E.



at each additional level of experience and the mage can draw



additional P.P.E. from other people and ley lines and nexus



points.



Special Vampire fighting equipment:




The knowledge of



building these devices is widely taught (unlike the equipment of



the TW Slingers, who like to keep their secrets to themselves)



and is available to any TW.



1. The Vampire Cross:




Any cross or holy symbol can be



used as a ward and a weapon against vampires. The TW Vampire



Cross is imbued with magic properties, which allows it to



turn blood red when a vampire conies within 12 feet of it. See



page 31 in Rifts



Vampire Kingdoms for more details.



Initial P.P.E. cost:




120 (cost is relatively high because the



magic is constantly in effect).



Spells needed:




Sense Evil (2) and Sense Magic (4)



Physical Requirements: A medium size silver plated cross is



all that is needed, although more ornate and decorated pieces



will have a stylish design to it or be studded with gems.



Weight: Varies with style and design, usually less than a few



pounds.



P.P.E.




to use: None, constantly in effect



Damage:




The touch of the cross or its shadow will inflict 2D6



hit point damage to vampires and it will immobilize them for



one melee, if they fail to save vs. horror factor 18.



Time to build:




4D4 hours



Cost: Starts at 10,000 credits and goes up with the detail and



styling of the piece.



2. TW Water Blasters:




These TW weapons are far more



effective than conventional water guns. They have the advan



tages



of greater range (150-600 ft vs. 30-150 ft for conventional



guns), greater payload, lightweight (due to the water appearing



magically, rather than being stored in the weapon reservoir), and



easy to refill (with a thought, rather than filling the reservoir).



See page 31 in Rifts



Vampire Kingdoms for more details.



Initial P.P.E. Cost:




20 for plastic pistols, 25 for metal pistols,



40 for pump pistols or sawed-off shotgun styles, 50 for full



shotguns,



60 for rifles, 75 for rifle and grenade launchers,



100 for bazookas, and 200 for cannons.



Spells needed:




Create Water (15), Telekinesis (8), and Energy



Field (10)



Physical Requirements.




The appropriate style weapon casing,



which may be taken from any modern weapon, including en



ergy



weapons, and a quartz crystal large enough to replace



the chamber of the weapon costing anywhere from 100 to



1000 credits.



Weight:




6 ounces to 11 Ibs., depending on the size and construction



of the weapon.



P.P.E. required to charge:




10 P.P.E. or 201.S.P.



Payload:




40 blasts for pistols to rifles, 20 blasts for the grenade



launcher, bazooka, and cannon



Range:




150 ft for plastic pistols, 200 ft for metal and pump pistols,



300 ft for shotguns and cannons, and 600 ft for rifles,



grenade launchers, and bazookas.



Damage:




Minimal damage to non-vampires, against vampires



the damage is 2D6 for pistols, 4D6 for pump pistols and ri



fles,



5D6 for full shotguns, !D4xlO for grenade launchers,



2D4xlO for bazookas, and 3D6xlO for cannons. Damage



varies against other creatures vulnerable to water.



Time to build:




Varies between 2 hours and 50 hours.



Cost: 6000 credits for plastic pistols, 10,000 for metal pistols,



20,000 for pump pistols, 25,000 for shotguns, 40,000 for ri



fles,



60,000 for grenade launchers, 70,000 for bazookas, and



150,000 for cannons.



3. Water Field:




This device is designed in the classic zany



style of the Techno-wizard. It resembles a small backpack that,



when activated, releases an umbrella-like framework of tubes up



from its compartment. From this framework, water sprays



around the user. This water, which also hits the user if the wind



is right or if the user is running quickly, forces vampires at bay



or they suffer the consequences. See page 32 of Rifts



Vampire



Kingdoms




for more details.



Initial P.P.E. Cost:




60 P.P.E.



Spells needed:




Create Water (15), Telekinesis (8), and Energy



Field (10)



Physical Requirements:




A small backpack, the tube framework,



and a quartz crystal



Weight: 5 Ibs.



P.P.E. to use:




10 P.P.E. or 20 I.S.P.



Payload:




Shower lasts five minutes



Range:




2 ft around the user.



Damage:




None to non-vampires, 3D6 hit point damage to vampires



whenever they touch the field.



Time to build:




3D6 hours



Cost:




50,000 credits



4. Storm Flares:




A magic flare that when fired into the air



produces a sudden downpour starting from 2000 ft in the air.



See page 31 of Rifts



Vampire Kingdoms for details.



Initial P.P.E. Cost:




300 P.P.E.



Spells needed:




Summon Storm (300) and Energy Field (10)



Physical Requirements:




A quartz crystal and a conventional



flare. Also needs a flare gun or launching mechanism to fire



it into the air.



Weight: 2 Ibs.



80



Payload:




1 shot with the storm lasting 1D6 minutes.



Range:




Affects a 100 ft diameter below the exploding point of



the flare. May be launched to affect an area 200 ft away.



Damage:




4D6 X 10 hit point damage to vampires every half



melee round a vampire is exposed to the rains.



Time to build:




6D6 hours



Cost: 10,000 credits per flare



5. Globe of Daylight Flares:




These magic flares burst into



a globe of daylight at 200 ft after being launched into the air,



then floats down to 20 ft. They radiate true sunlight which at



this level is not strong enough to hurt vampires, but is strong



enough to keep them at bay. See page 31 of Rifts



Vampire



Kingdoms




for more details.



Initial P.P.E. Cost:




15P.P.E.



Spells needed:




Globe of Daylight (2) and Energy Field (10)



Physical Requirements:




One rose quartz crystal and a conventional



flare.



Weight:




21bs.



Payload:




1 shot with the Globe of Daylight lasting 3D4 minutes.



Range:




Lights up a 60 foot area



Damage:




None



Time to build:




1D6 hours



Cost:




2,000 credits per flare



6. Animal Repellant Flares:




Very useful against the vermin



that vampires are able to command, this flare releases a



minty scent and a magic aura when its cord is pulled. See page



31 of Rifts



Vampire Kingdoms for more details.



Initial P.P.E. Cost:




20 P.P.E.



Spells needed:




Repel Animals (7) and Energy Field (10)



Physical Requirements:




One tourmaline crystal and a conventional



flare.



Weight: 2 Ibs.



Payload:




1 shot with the aura lasting 1D4 minutes.



Range:




Affects a five foot area or the flare can be moved



around to affect a wider area, but the duration is halved.



Damage:




None



Time to build:




2D4 hours



Cost: 6,000 credits per flare



7. TW Wood Firing Rail Gun:




This weapon combines



high firepower and magic to create a weapon that literally rips



vampires to shreds. The main drawbacks to this weapon are its



great bulk and the fact that its rounds usually punch right



through the vampires without imbedding them in their hearts.



However, firepower fans prefer these weapons over nonconverted



rail guns with wood or silver rounds because TW rail



guns do not require the user to carry around a heavy and bulky



ammo-drum. See page 32 of Rifts



Vampire Kingdoms for



more details.



Initial P.P.E. Cost:




150 P.P.E.



Spells needed:




Create Wood (20), Telekinesis (8), and Energy



Field (10).



Physical Requirements:




Ruby worth 1000 credits or more and



a rail gun to be converted.



Weight:




Same as the rail gun converted, not counting the



ammo-drum or power source which aren't needed for the



conversion.



P.P.E. to charge:




20 P.P.E. or 401.S.P.



Payload:




40 bursts



Range:




4000ft



Damage:




1D4 M.D. to non-vampires and 3D6 X 10 hit point



damage to vampires. Varies for other creatures vulnerable to



wood.



Time to build:




lD4days Cost: 500,000 credits



81



8. TW Lifeblaster:




This conversion transforms an energy



pistol into a weapon that releases life energy. To most creatures



this energy is invigorating and refreshing. To the undead this



energy is like acid eating at their unnatural flesh.



Initial P.P.E. Cost:




60 P.P.E.



Spells needed:




Lifeblast (15) and Energy Bolt (5)



Physical Requirements:




Diamond worth 1000 credits or more



and an energy pistol to be converted.



Weight:




The same as the converted pistol.



P.P.E. to charge:




20 P.P.E. or 40 I.S.P.



Pay load:




5 shots



Range:




300ft



Damage:




Inflicts 1D6 X 10 hit point damage to vampires (master



vampires can save vs. this attack and suffer only half



damage if successful), total nullification to animated dead,



1D6 damage and horror factor 16 to mummies and zombies,



horror factor 19 to banshees and Grave Ghouls, and 4D6



S.D.C./hit points or 3D6 M.D. and destruction of two addi



tional



appendages to necromancers.



Time to build: 7D4 hours



Cost:




75,000 credits



9. TW Lightblade Sword:




Similar to the flaming sword,



this weapon resembles a bladeless sword hilt with a diamond



where the blade should be. This weapon is useful against all



mortal or supernatural opponents, as well as vampires. Because



of its versatility, this is usually the main weapon of TW Vamp



Hunters, Undead Slayers, and other vampire hunters.



Initial P.P.E. cost:




120 P.P.E.



Spells needed:




Lightblade (20) and Globe of Daylight (2)



Physical Requirements:




Two Diamonds worth 1000 each and



a sword hilt.



Weight: 3 Ibs.



P.P.E. to use:




20 P.P.E. or 40 I.S.P.



Duration:




Blade lasts one minute per level of the user



Damage:




1D4 X 10 + 6 M.D. to non-vampires, double hit point



damage to vampires, or double M.D. to other creatures vulnerable



to light.



Time to build: 8D4 hours



Cost:




250,000 credits, coveted by Undead Slayers, Cyberknights,



and champions of light.



10. TW Guided Stake Launchers.




This two-handed



weapon is shaped like an over-sized crossbow or an under-sized



bazooka. It sends magically guided stakes flying through the air



which target the heart of the vampire. The drawback to this



weapon is that it always targets the heart, regardless of the desires



of the user. For example, if a vampire is wearing a chest



plate, but his face is exposed, the user is out of luck. Fortu



nately,



most vampires are too arrogant (or claustrophobic) to



wear body armor of any kind.



Initial P.P.E. Cost:




50 P.P.E.



Spells needed:




Create Wood (20), Telekinesis (8), Fly as the



Eagle (25), and Sense Evil (2)



Physical Requirements:




Topaz worth 500 credits and the



weapon casing.



Weight:




10-15 Ibs.



P.P.E. to charge:




15 P.P.E. or 30 I.S.P.



Payload:




Five stakes



Range:




200ft



Damage:




3D6 S.D.C. to non-vampires and 6D6 hit point damage



to vampires plus it immobilizes them on a direct strike in



the heart.



Bonus to strike:




Strikes the heart on a 16 or higher beyond 20



ft or 12 or higher within 20 ft. A roll above 4, but below 16



or 12, strikes the vampire and does damage, but does not immobilize



it. No other bonuses apply. May be dodged as nor



mal



or parried at -3.



Time to build:




lD4days



Cost:




60,000 credits



11. TW Holy Water Purifier:




This device purifies and enchants



water to make it the equivalent of holy water blessed by



a priest. Techno-wizards often build this device for the use of



villages and townships. It is a most desired by towns with few



psychics or mages, but a lot of able-bodied defenders.



Initial P.P.E. cost:




150 P.P.E.



Spells needed:




Purification (20), Lifeblast (15), and Energize



Spell (12)



Physical Requirements:




A silver bowl, a diamond worth 1000



credits, and a base for the bowl, often made from a valuable



metal and finely decorated with intricate carvings or gems.



Weight: 5 Ibs.




and up



P.P.E. to use:




10 P.P.E. for every six ounces of water enchanted.



Capacity:




Depends on the size of the bowl, usually between 2



and 10 cups.



Damage:




Six ounces of holy water will inflicts 3D6 hit point



damage to vampires, none to most other beings, and varies



for other supernatural beings vulnerable to water and holy



water.



Time to build:




6D6 hours



Cost:




25,000 credits and up, depending on the design.



12. TW Hypnosis Shield:




This incredibly simple device is a



work of genius. Someone realized that vampires require eye



contact to cast their mind controlling gaze upon a victim. They



put that fact together with the fact that vampires recoil at the



sight of a cross and came up with this simple gizmo. It is a little



TW searchlight with a small cross painted over its lens strapped



to the user's forehead. The result is the most effective way to



keep a vampire from staring someone in the eyes and a great



secondary weapon.



Initial P.P.E. Cost: 5 P.P.E.



Spells needed:




Globe of Daylight (2)



Physical Requirements:




A miner's helmet or other small



searchlight with a forehead harness, a quartz crystal, and



paint for the cross.



Weight:




Varies, usually about a pound.



P.P.E. to use:




2 P.P.E.



Duration:




3 minutes per level of the user



Range:




10ft



Damage:




2D6 hit point damage and horror factor 18 to vampires,



but only if specifically targeted, otherwise the vampires



will stay out of its path.



Time to build:




1D6 hours



Cost:




3,000 credits



82



TW Vamp Hunter



Also known as:




Vamp Killer and Vampire Slayer (after Undead



Slayers, whom they greatly admire).



Alignment Restrictions:




None, but usually good or aberrant.



Selfish and evil Vamp Hunters tend to be mercenaries who



will work for anyone who pays the right price, including



Master Vampires who wish to wage war against other kingdoms.



Attribute Requirements:




I.Q. 12, M.E. 12 and P.E. 14 or



higher. A high P.S., P.P., and Spd are strongly recommended,



but not required.



Race Restrictions:




None, except for races with no magical aptitude,



but most (85%) are human.



Player Character Note:




These techno-wizards are much



more serious than their fellows. As hunters of an even deadlier



predator, they must remain focused at all times. During the day,



the majority are grim, stone-faced engineers who work on their



machines. At night, they are skilled warriors who live for the



nobility, challenge, and prestige that comes with their jobs.



Sometimes, after a successful raid, they revert back to the



stereotypical TW adventurer and loosen up and have a good



time. But most of the time, they are stoic determined warriors



and inventors. Most are honorable, dedicated and hard-working.



They know that the vampire menace will probably not be eradicated



during their lifetime and they are patient in their hunt and



in their workrooms. Evil Vamp Hunters, on the other hand, can



be as bad as the vermin they hunt. They can stand and watch a



village get massacred because they couldn't come up with their



fee. Some will even accept jobs helping one vampire kingdom



against another, if their price is met.



O.C.C. Skills:



Languages: American and Spanish at 90%



Literacy: One of choice (+10%)



Radio: Basic (+10%)



Lore: Demons and Monsters (+20% when dealing with vam



pires,



+10% all others)



Carpentry (+10%)



Sculpting and Whittling (+10%)



Computer Operation (+5%)



Basic Electronics (+5%)



Armorer (+10%)



Math: Basic (+20%)



Land Navigation (+15%)



Wilderness Survival (+10%)



Detect Ambush (+10%)



W.P.: Two of choice



Hand to Hand Combat: Basic; can be upgraded to Expert at



the cost of one "other" skill or Martial Arts at the cost of two.



O.C.C. Related Skills:




Select five skills at level one, plus one



additional skill at levels 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 and 14.



Communications: Any (+5%)



Cowboy: None



Domestic: Any



Electrical: Any, but each skill counts as two skill selections.



Espionage: Tracking and Intelligence only (+5%)



Mechanical: Any, but each skill counts as two skill selections.



Medical: First Aid and Paramedic only



Military: Any



Physical: Any, except Boxing, Wrestling and Acrobatics



Piloting: Any (+10%)



Pilot Related: Any (+5%)



Rogue: Any (+10% to prowl)



Science: Any (+5%)



Technical: Any (+5%)



Weapon Proficiencies: Any



Wilderness: Any (+10%)



Secondary Skills:




Select three secondary skills at level one,



plus one additional at levels 4, 8, and 13 from those listed excluding



those marked "None". These are additional areas of



knowledge that do not get the advantage of the bonus listed



in parentheses. All secondary skills start at the base skill



level.



Standard Equipment:




A TW Vampire Cross, combat fatigues,



work overalls, one set of nice clothes, multi-optics band, polarized



sunglasses, large flashlight, pocket flashlight, six



flares, mini-tool kit, backpack, several small and large sacks,



canteen, binoculars, pocket laser distancer, FDD recorder/



player, and a hand-held computer.



M.D.C. armor can be any style, light for stealth or heavy



for combat, with two TW features of choice, except Invisibility:



Superior, Impervious to Energy, Giant, Magical-adrenal



Rush, and Invincible Armor. Most commonly selected fea



tures



are Armor of Ithan, Shadow Meld, Superhuman



Strength, and Invulnerability.



Weapons include two TW vampire fighting weapons of



choice, two TW flares, one other TW energy weapon of



choice, and a TW Lightblade sword.



Vehicle can be a wing board or tree trimmer and living



horse or a TW converted land vehicle of choice. Most covet



the TW Glittermount above all others, but it is not available



as part of the initial equipment.



Money:




1D4 X 100 in credits, 2D6 X 10 in black market items,



and 3D4 X 1000 in crystals and gems. Most of their money



has been spent on equipment. Also, most of their time is



spent in the wilderness or in towns that welcome and appreciate



the presence of a skilled vampire hunter and builder of



anti-vampire weapons.



Cybernetics:




None to start and most will avoid them, except



for medical reasons



83



Seduced Techno-Wizard



O.C.C. (N.P.C. Villain



and Optional O.C.C.)



Not every necromancer in North America is a member of the



Grim Reapers. Many are members of one of the dozens of other



death cults scattered across the Americas and the rest of the



globe. The members of one of these lesser known cults, known



as The Dark Path, were envious of the Grim Reapers ultimate



creation, the undead Juicer known as the Murder-wraith. Lusting



for an undead creation of their own, these death mages began



studying other forms of human augmentation.



M.O.M. conversion, better known as the Crazy process,



seemed to be the most promising option. This conversion enhances



the physical abilities of its subjects, but also degrades



their sanity. Perfect conditions for recruitment into a death cult.



Unfortunately for the necromancers, Crazies proved to be too



erratic and too difficult to keep focused on their tasks. Added to



that was the fact that crazies are less common than Juicers. The



M.O.M. option was dropped quickly.



Bionic conversion was viewed at first to be too difficult an



option. Borgs, due to their mechanical nature, have a high resistance



to magic, very little living tissue, and a nearly non-existent



P.P.E. base. These were three factors which worked against the



possibility of transforming a Borg into a supernatural undead



creature. Moreover, most of their numbers had very little, if any



in-depth knowledge of the technology of bionics. But, after



conducting a ritual of premonition, it was believed that this was



the path to take. With this confirmation, they continued their research.



Cyber-docs were recruited, hired, and coerced to explain the



bionic conversion and its ramifications on the human body.



Borgs were captured, dissected and experimented upon; none



with any progress or success. After months of research, the



leaders of the cult were well-versed in the science of bionics,



but still had no idea how they were to transform these technological



wonders into supernatural creatures. Then, one of them



realized that they were going about it all wrong. He proposed



that they recruit the people who handle tech to mystic conversions



all the time. Quickly, they began recruiting technowizards



to their cult in a campaign that would later be called



The Great Seduction.



Techno-wizards, young and old, were "seduced" by the



promise of great power and even greater discovery. They were



brought into The Dark Path and studied the notes and previous



work of the necromancers and their cultists. Bionic components



were taken apart, modified, and put back together, as only a



techno-wizard can. After more months of research and experimentation,



they had a number a prototype TW converted bionic



bodies. Only one problem remained: the power source. To



power a TW device like the ones they had developed, it would



need a high constant flow of P.P.E. running through it. Conventional



bionic conversion destroyed the mystical potential of the



recipient, so converting people who were already Borgs was impossible.



They thought about keeping the mystic Borg supplied



with a steady amount of human or animal sacrifices, but this



would be very difficult to maintain. Another possibility was to



convert it to a Ley Line feeder, but this would severely limit its



range of travel. Converting men of magic was a possibility and



further research was done along this line. The research indi



cated



that the recipient had to be someone familiar with the



technology involved with the process and a willing and active



participant in its construction. After realizing this, the choice



became obvious.



84



By this point, most of the recruited techno-wizards were de



vout



believers in the death cult and were eager to volunteer for



the process. Others were still dedicated to the project and



wanted to see through to the end, although they themselves did



not want to be converted. The remaining techno-wizards attempted



to escape, but were caged and imprisoned before they



could flee. After many tireless nights, the conversion process



was plotted and planned out. After helping in the building and



preparing of the TW bionic components, the volunteer must



transfer his or her soul into a TW converted bionic heart, via the



Transfer Life Force necromancy spell. Then his or her body



will be killed and drained of its blood. Slowly and methodi



cally,



the other participating techno-wizards and Necromancers



will strip the flesh off the body and replace it with the TW bionic



components, while the other cultists will chant and offer



their P.P.E. for the ritual. As the ritual is completed, the soulcontaining



heart will be placed into the chest cavity, while the



blood is poured back into the body. The undead Borg will then



rise and slay a waiting human sacrifice, energizing the monster



and giving the death cult its new undead creature. The theory



was sound and after five promising failures and slight modifications,



the first successful Undead Borg, as they were first called,



was born (so to speak). The process was further modified and



soon the process was perfected.



Shortly after the procedure was perfected, The Dark Path began



hearing reports that Undead Borgs were appearing among



the ranks of rival death cults, including the Grim Reapers. Unbeknownst



to the other members of The Dark Path, three of its



members were spies affiliated with other death cults. Enraged



and humiliated, the cult of The Dark Path was disbanded and its



members joined and formed other death cults. Now, the Undead



Borg is open technology, free to anyone willing to learn its secrets.



The only things keeping its numbers down is the months



of work that must be put into it and the fact that only technowizards



seduced by necromancy can be converted. So far no



other men of magic have been able to successfully adapt to the



changes this process instills. This exclusive volunteer pool has



given Undead Borgs the name that people outside of the death



cults most commonly know them as: Seduced Techno-wizards.



This conversion has a number of advantages that would be



very appealing to techno-wizards, if not for the fact that most



techno-wizards aren't excited by the prospect of being turned



into a member of the undead. For one, the bionic shell is a creation



of techno-wizardry. Actually being a product of techno



wizardry



is an experience that many techno-wizards would jump



at. The body is a Mega-damage structure imbued with supernatural



strength and speed, in addition to a number of built-in



weapon systems and magical features. The finished product is a



true undead creature; immortal and very hard to destroy, and



with several unnatural powers. See Rifts



Africa and Juicer Uprising



for more details concerning necromancers, death cults,



the Grim Reapers, Murder-wraiths, and other cool stuff.



The powers of the Seduced Techno-Wizard



1. Mega-damage body and supernatural attributes:



M.D.C. of the main body is 250. The head has 70 M.D.C.



Arms have 100 M.D.C. each. Legs have 120 M.D.C. each. Its



P.S. is 24 + 1D6, P.P. is 18 + 1D6, Spd is 1D6 X 10 + 60. All



attributes are considered supernatural.



2. Invulnerability and regenerative powers:




The Seduced



TW cannot be harmed by most attacks, including those from



technological Mega-damage weapons. Seduced Technowizards



enjoy ambushing well-armed soldiers, by marching



straight towards them and walking into their barrage of energy



blasts and rail gun rounds just to prove their superiority. The



Seduced TW is also immune to all poisons, toxins, and drugs,



and can survive indefinitely without air, water, or conventional



foods. However, against magic, psionics, and the bane of all undead:



silver, his resistance to injury is not as effective.



Mega-damage magic and psionic attacks, as well as the hand



to hand attacks of supernatural creatures and creatures of magic



will inflict their usual damage against Seduced Techno-wizards



and will destroy them if they are reduced to -50 M.D.C. However,



damage from these attacks is restored at the incredible rate



of 6D6 M.D.C. per melee. Silver inflicts Mega-damage equal to



twice its S.D.C. damage and is also healed at the same rate as



magical attacks. Holy water can burn these creatures as if it



were acid. Damage is 3D6 M.D. for every vial/six ounces



splashed on him.



As incredible as their invulnerability is, they have one tremendous



weakness: weapons created by techno-wizardry. For



some reason, the tools of their past life are now the key to ending



their new undead life. Weapons created by a techno-wizard



will inflict double damage to Seduced Techno-wizards and will



be healed at the much slower rate of 2D6 M.D. per minute.



Magic weapons that are not true TW weapons will still hurt the



Seduced TW, but only with the same conditions as listed for



other magic attacks. The reason for their vulnerability to TW



weapons and devices is unknown, but it is believed to be linked



to some factor involved in their creation or it could be psychological



in nature. The latter theory is supported by the fact that



the Seduced TW has a few other drawbacks and quirks that are



clearly psychologically induced.



3. Supernatural Senses:




Instead of standard bionic optics



and sensors, the Seduced TW has the magic abilities of see the



invisible, see aura, nightvision at 300 ft, sense magic, and detect



concealment all at no P.P.E. cost.



4. Built-in Weapon Systems and Magic Powers:




Concealed



in the hands of Borgs are magic torches that can fire a



stream of flame anywhere from 500 ft away to the touch of a



finger. Damage can be regulated to inflict anything between



1D6 S.D.C. and 3D6 M.D. Alternately, they can add up to



3D6 M.D. to punch attacks.



Seduced Techno-wizards possess an ability similar to the



necromancer's Union with the Dead and Augmentation and Additional



Appendage abilities. By spending 10 P.P.E. and welding



it into place, the Undead Borg can attach an integral weapon



or whole limb from a Borg, Bot or suit of power armor to its



own body. The whole attachment process takes only one melee



round. The weapon or limb can only function for five minutes



before another 10 P.P.E. needs to be expended or the item can



be removed by simply ripping it off. Energy weapons have an



unlimited payload and rail guns and missile launchers can only



fire as long as the ammunition lasts. Damage is equal to what



ever



the weapon inflicted before being incorporated into the



Borg. Up to six additional arms can be attached to the Seduced



TW. Each pair of arms adds one additional attack per melee and



+1 to strike and parry. The M.D.C. of the arms is the same as



85



before it was removed from its owner and its strength becomes



that of the Seduced TW. The attachment of the arms of giant



robot vehicles or any robot larger than 15 feet is not possible.



Three of the following bionic-style weapon systems and fea



tures



are built into the Borg during its creation. Additional systems



can be built into truly deserving or hard-working disciples,



but can never have more systems added after the process.



Available systems are: 1) Dragon Breath: This system is built



into the mouth and throat and simulates the chemical spray of



conventional Borgs, only with deadlier effects. Each costs



P.P.E. to use. Range is limited to twenty feet with a five foot



width. Bonus to strike is+2. Only one of the following can be



added: Dragon Fire (40 P.P.E. for six melee rounds of use, inflicts



1D4 X 10 M.D.), Blind (6 P.P.E., those struck must save



vs. magic at 12 or higher or be blinded for six minutes, same effect



as the spell), Trance (10 P.P.E., those struck must save vs.



magic at 12 or higher or be affected for thirty minutes, same effect



as the spell), or Extinguish Fire (4 P.P.E., same effect as the



spell at sixth level). 2) Toxic Claws or Fangs: Similar to the



bionic drug dispensing system, these are built into the fingertips



or teeth and can deliver a mystic toxin into the system of its victim.



Each costs P.P.E. to use. Saving throw is 14 or higher.



Only one of the following effects is available: Befuddle (6



P.P.E., duration is 12 minutes, same effects as the spell), Paraly



sis:



Lesser (5 P.P.E., duration is six minutes, same effects as the



spell), Words of Truth (15 P.P.E., duration is six minutes, same



effects as the spell), Agony (20 P.P.E., duration is one minute,



same effects as the spell), or Sickness (50 P.P.E., duration is



three days, same effects as the spell). 3) Garrote Wrist Wire:



Fundamentally, the same as the bionic weapon, but is capable of



injuring creatures who would be otherwise invulnerable to this



attack. 4) Language Translator: This is a built-in TW communication



band. P.P.E. to activate is 12. Duration is of the charge



is two hours. 5) Sonic Blaster: Built into the mouth and throat,



this weapon is fundamentally the same as the Sonic Blast spell.



See page 142 of the



Federation of Magic for details. P.P.E. to



use is 25 and affects everyone within a twenty foot radius. 6)



Death Strike: Same as the necromantic spell of the same name.



See page 105 of Rifts Africa for details. Saving throw is 14 or



higher. P.P.E. to use is 25. Duration is six minutes.



Additional built-in magic includes: Consume Power and



Knowledge (20 P.P.E.), Strength of the Dead (60, applies to



M.D.C. creatures only), and Animate and Control Dead (20), all



cast at sixth level proficiency regardless of the Seduced TW's



level of experience. See Rifts



Africa for details concerning



these spells.



5. P.P.E., Magic Knowledge, and Psionics:




Unfortunately,



the conversion destroys all psionics, spell casting knowledge,



and special abilities of the TW. But the Seduced TW is still



able to use TW devices and has built-in spells at his disposal.



His personal P.P.E. is equal to the amount he had when he was



converted, plus an additional 20 P.P.E. and he is still able to tap



Ley Lines, Nexus Points, and especially other people. His



P.P.E. base is recovered at a rate of 5 per hour or can be restored



by stealing the P.P.E. of living creatures, up to full capacity.



6. Combat and bonuses:




The Seduced TW will have prepared



himself for the power and speed of his new body and will



be quite ready for it. In addition to attribute bonuses, the Seduced



TW has the following bonuses and abilities: Four attacks



per melee plus one additional at levels 5 and 10, +4 to initiative,



+ 2 to strike and parry, +2 to pull punch, +8 to save versus horror



factor, +4 to save versus magic, +2 to save versus psionics



and still saves as though he were a minor psionic with a 12 or



higher.



7. Penalties and weaknesses:




In addition to being vulnerable



to TW weapons, magic, psionics, and silver, the Seduced



TW has a several other drawbacks to it. First, the character is



now trapped in an inhuman body that always has a monstrous



appearance to it. P.B. is reduced to 1D4, horror factor is 16, and



the bulky body makes prowling difficult (-40%). The transformation



itself takes its toll on the subject. I.Q. and M.E. are reduced



by 2 and TW will almost always become fascinated and



obsessed with death and Techno-wizardry, even more so than



when they agreed to the transformation. The Seduced TW must



now feed on the P.P.E. of living creatures. The P.P.E. can be



drained from it victim without killing it in the same method as



the Psi-Stalker, but he will always prefer to take it by killing his



victim. Likewise, the P.P.E. of animals can be consumed, but



the taste of the P.P.E. from a sentient creature is nearly intoxicating



to them. A minimum of 50 P.P.E. a week is needed to



sustain him, but he can go without feeding for a month without



ill effect. After a month or so, he will begin feeding on his own



P.P.E. at the rate of 10 per day. During this period, his speed,



attacks per melee, combat and saving throw bonuses are reduced



by half and strength drops by 2 points for every day without



feeding beyond a month. This consumed energy cannot be recovered



unless he feeds on 50 P.P.E. in addition to the amount



he has used from his base within a week's time. If the Seduced



TW's P.P.E. is reduced to zero, he will fall into a coma and



slowly fall apart and discorporate within a day. The Seduced



TW has an aversion to sunlight. Although he can physically



function normally during the day, he prefers to lay low and hide



until nightfall. This is believed to be connected to his own be



lief



that he is a creature of the night. The oddest weakness that



Seduced Techno-wizards have is an apprehension towards flying.



If a Seduced TW is forced to get on a plane, he'll go kicking



and screaming. Furthermore, while in the air, he will be



paranoid and skittish. All his combat bonuses will be halved



and he will actually try to avoid conflict if possible. It is theorized



that this is connected to his aversion to sunlight, but even



at night he dislikes flying. Another theory is that this is some



sort of rejection of or rebellion against his past life.



Seduced Techno-Wizard



Also known as:




Undead Borg, Sadist Techno-wizard, Corrupt



Techno-wizard, and TW Borg



Alignment Restrictions:




Must be diabolic and sadistic; no



other alignments or sane people will even consider this transformation.



Definitely not recommended as player character.



However, after the transformation, a few Seduced Technowizards



realize the severity of their situation and become Repentant



Techno-wizards. These sad beings will be principled



or scrupulous and will either attempt suicide or go forth and



try to regain their humanity by helping others and trying to



make up for their sins.



Attribute Requirements:




Must have been a Techno-wizard.



Race Restrictions:




No supernatural creatures or creatures of



magic at all! Most are humans or S.D.C. D-bees, with few



non-supernatural M.D.C. creatures.



86



Player Character Note:




These are power-hungry murderers



who have exchanged their humanity for potential immortality



and existence as a member of the undead. They are monsters



who are capable of feeding on animal life, but instead choose to



feed on sentient beings. Any Techno-wizard who succumbs to



the "seduction" undoubtedly had a few screws loose to begin



with. After being introduced to the cult, the TW is subjected to



a number of conversion techniques and after the transformation



becomes a ruthless, insane creature who take what he wants and



kills any who stand in its way. Although not bound by magic to



the cultists who created it, he almost always remain with them.



Thanks to their "indoctrination", the Seduced TW almost always



shares the same purpose and motives as the murderous cult that



created it. The Seduced TW prefers to use brute strength in deference



to stealth and guile and likes to announce his intentions



before attacking to demonstrate his invincibility. Any Seduced



TW who is allowed as a player character will be a Repentant



TW, a rare renegade who is shocked back to the reality of his



situation after completing the transformation. He will be incredibly



repentant and ashamed by his past choices and present



situation. He will not use his necro-magic abilities, except under



the most dire of situations and will do his best to make up



for his former evil ways.



O.C.C. Skills:




They retain all of their past knowledge, except



hand to hand combat which is replaced by their new supernatural



abilities. Skill proficiency is locked at the level that



the TW had at the time of the conversion. The TW starts his



new O.C.C. at level one. One new skill can be learned at levels



3, 6, 9, and 12 after being converted (no bonuses). Available



areas of knowledge are limited to espionage, military,



physical (any that still apply, except hand to hand combat),



rogue, WP, and wilderness.



Standard Equipment:




Most start with very little because they



need very little. Starts with a large cloak or robe, one or two



TW weapons of choice, and a few personal items. Typically



does not wear body armor of any sort, although they can use



any type of Borg armor if desired. Most believe in their own



M.D.C. bodies, regenerative abilities, and apparent immortality.



Money:




Typically starts with none. They don't need conventional



goods. The cult usually supplies them with whatever



items they might need, otherwise they take what they want



without concern for laws and morals.



Cybernetics:




Only their own TW bionic bodies. Due to their



regenerative powers, they cannot receive any new implants,



except by using their attachment powers.



Techno-Wizard



Construction Guidelines



By Jason Richards



Techno-Wizardry is some players' favorite aspect of the



game, others their least favorite. When talking to other players I



frequently hear, "All TW items are over-powered!" or "techno



wizardry



is just boring." I think part of the problem is that no



clear guidelines have been set down for players and Game Masters



to follow in creating these diverse and fun items. Also, one



has to be able to appreciate that with techno-wizards come great



gaming opportunities. Think about it... those emeralds and ru



bies



aren't that easy to come by. They have to come from



somewhere and the techno-wizard has to get his hands on them



somehow. Sounds like an adventure to me.



What follows are some guidelines I use in creating my items.



They're not laws, just guidelines. Even I deviate from them frequently.



Spells needed for creation-




any spells relevant to the item



(Fire Bolt for flame sword, etc.) plus a trigger spell. The trigger



spell is just what it sounds like and no different from the trigger



of the gun. It is the specific spell that must be activated to make



the item work. The most commonly used are Globe of Daylight,



Energy Bolt, and Energy Field. Note: For most items, Blinding



Flash is inadequate. Which spell is used differs with the power



level of the object and what specific results will occur.



PPE needed for creation-




one of the many judgement calls



in TW, a good basis is the PPE for the combined spells times 5,



give or take 20. There will always be exceptions to this rule.



PPE and ISP requirements-




the PPE required to use the object



is the amount of PPE needed to activate the trigger. So, if



you were using Energy Bolt as your trigger it would cost 5 PPE.



The ISP cost is always double. So, 5 PPE requires 10 ISP.



Physical requirements-




this is something in which all



techno-wizards will vary. Usually the actual object of what the



TW is emulating is required, though it need not be in working



condition (a radio to make a magic communicator or an energy



pistol to make a lightning gun for example). Also there is one



or more gems involved. The type of gem used differs with the



objects and usually has some quality in common with the object,



especially color. For example, rubies are used in devices using



fire and I use aquamarines in my water weapons. Good guides



are the tables found with the Stone Masters in Rifts Atlantis or



the Gem Powers table in Villains Unlimited. They give good



possibilities for the uses of different gems. When in doubt,



quartz is used quite often and is very general-purpose. Wires,



strange attachments, dials, etc. are also used for reasons unfathomable



to non-techno-wizards.



Creation time-




unless you play a techno-wizard, this will



never affect you. If you do, however, then you know that sometimes



in crunch-time you have to make something. Only, how



long does it take? For small objects like most weapons, communications,



medical and other devices, I suggest the principal



spells' total PPE in hours. For vehicles and other large items, I



suggest principal spell PPE in days. Game Masters might want



to allow for a rush job in half the time with some decreased



chances of success. Also, multiple Techno-Wizards working on



the same item could decrease the time needed. I suggest that



each additional TW working on an item decreases the initial



time by 10% down to as low as half of the original time.



Black Market Cost-




the most radical of issues. I recommend



5,000 credits times the PPE cost of the primary spell (e.g. the



Tongues spell in the magic translator). This cost can be two



or three times for a weapon, armor enhancement, or specialty



item.



Other-




Damage, Range, Duration, and Effects should be consistent



with the primary spell. Various Palladium writers have



had different opinions on whether these variables are deter



mined



by the creator or the user. In my campaigns and items,



I say that it is the creator, because that seems logical to me. I



87



usually put my items on the fifth level for game purposes, but



have lowered that if I though it would disrupt game balance.



A note on PPE batteries:




Palladium mentions PPE batteries



quite extensively, but never really tells what they are and



how they work with the exception of Talismans. I allow TW



characters to make PPE batteries using emeralds of different



sizes for different PPE amounts. I also feel that PPE batteries



for vehicles or weapons could be made by converting traditional



batteries. As always, these suggestions should be used



at Game Master discretion and should never be allowed to



disrupt game balance.



New TW Conversions



By Mark Sumimoto



As technology has progressed, so has techno-wizardry.



Heavier weapons means new obstacles must be overcome to



convert them without losing performance. Heavier armor means



new enhancements must be developed to even the odds.



Techno-wizards have met these challenges and can successfully



convert the newer weapons that have hit the market.



Converting Heavy Weapons to Magic



1. Particle Weapons CAN be converted!:




Using the spell,



Sub-particle Acceleration, particle beam weapons can be



converted to operate on magic energy.



Initial P.P.E. cost: 30 for pistols and light rifles, 60 for heavy



weapons.



Spells needed: Sub-particle Acceleration (20), and Energy Bolt



(5) for light weapons or Power Bolt (20) for heavy weapons.



Physical Requirements: Topaz worth 1000 credits or 2500 credits



or more for heavy weapons.



Damage: 1D4 X 10 M.D. for light weapons or 1D6 X 10 M.D.



for heavy weapons.



Payload: Three blasts regardless of size.



Range: Unchanged from the weapon converted.



P.P.E. to recharge: 25 for light weapons or 40 for heavy.



Time to build: 8D4 hours for light or 6D6 hours for heavy.



Market cost: 180,000 credits for light weapons or 250,000 credits



for heavy weapons.



2. Heavy Laser Weapons:




Any heavy laser rifle or cannon



can be converted to run on magic energy.



Initial P.P.E. cost: 20



Spells needed: Globe of Daylight (2), and Power Bolt (20).



Physical Requirements: Rose Quartz crystal worth 1000 credits



or more.



Damage: 4D6M.D.



Payload: Ten blasts



Range: Unchanged from the weapon converted.



P.P.E. to recharge: 22 P.P.E.



Time to build: 3D4 hours



Market cost: 60,000 credits



3. Heavy Ion Weapons:




Thanks to new developments in



magic, medium ion rifles and heavy pistols have become



available for low level techno-wizards to convert into light



ning



blasters. In addition, heavy ion rifles and cannons can



be converted into heavy lightning blasters.



Initial P.P.E. cost: 15 for medium weapons or 30 for heavy.



Spells needed: Lightning Arc (30) and Energy Bolt (5) for me



dium



or Power Bolt (20) for heavy.



Physical Requirements: Violet Amethyst worth 500 credits for



medium or 1000 credits or more for heavy.



Damage: 5D6 M.D. for medium or 1D4 X 10 + 8 M.D. for



heavy.



Payload: Five blasts regardless of size.



Range: Unchanged from the weapon converted.



P.P.E. to recharge: 35 for medium or 50 for heavy.



Time to build: 6D4 hours for medium or 9D4 hours for heavy.



Market cost: 80,000 credits for medium or 200,000 credits for



heavy.



4. Heavy Plasma Weapons:




Any plasma ejector or cannon



can be converted to run on magic energy.



Initial P.P.E. cost: 20 for light plasma ejectors, 40 for heavy



plasma cannons.



Spells needed: Fire Gout (20) and Energy Bolt (5) for light or



Power Bolt (20) for heavy.



Physical Requirements: Diamond worth 2000 credits for light



or 3000 credits or more for heavy.



Damage: 6D6 M.D. for light or 1D6 X 10 M.D. for heavy.



Payload: Three blasts regardless of size.



Range: Unchanged from the weapon converted.



P.P.E. to recharge: 25 for light weapons or 40 for heavy.



Time to build: 4D6 hours for light or 6D6 hours for heavy.



Market cost: 150,000 credits for light or 220,000 for heavy.



5. TK-Rail Guns:




Rail Guns are very difficult and time consuming



to convert to magic energy, but it has become easier



with the development of new spell incantations.



Initial P.P.E. cost: 120



Spells needed: Telekinesis (8) and Power Bolt (20).



Physical Requirements: Rose Quartz crystal worth 3000 credits



or more.



Damage: 6D6 M.D.



Payload: Two bursts per charge, but can hold up to 20 bursts.



Range: 4000 feet



P.P.E. to recharge: 8 P.P.E. or 20 I.S.P.



Time to build: lD4days



Market cost: 160,000 credits



New Features That Can



Be Added to Technology



Body and Power Armor:



Armor Bizarre:




Same effects as the spell found on page 135 in



the Federation of Magic book.



Initial P.P.E. cost: 350



Duration is subject to the level of the creator



Cost to use: 15 P.P.E. or 30 I.S.P.



Market cost: 80,000 credits for every 15 M.D.C. of protection



Cloak of Darkness:




Same effects as the spell found on page



131 in the



Federation of Magic book.



Initial P.P.E. cost: 120



Duration is subject to the level of the creator



Cost to use: 6 P.P.E. or 12 I.S.P.



Market cost: 40,000 credits per level of the creator



Giant:




Same effects as the spell found on page 150 in the Federation



of Magic




book, except the armor magically disappears



until the end of the magic and is not destroyed by the



growth of the user.



88



Initial P.P.E. cost: 1600



Duration is subject to the level of the creator



Cost to use: 80 P.P.E. or 1601.S.P.



Market cost: 1,000,000 credits plus an additional 200,000 credits



per level of the creator



Invincible Armor:




Same effects as the spell found on page 144



in the



Federation of Magic book.



Initial P.P.E. cost: 800



Duration is subject to the level of the creator



Cost to use: 30 P.P.E. or 60 I.S.P.



Market cost: 200,000 credits plus an additional 150,000 credits



per 30 M.D.C. of protection



Magical-Adrenal Rush:




Same effects as the spell found on



page 144 in the



Federation of Magic book.



Initial P.P.E. cost: 1000



Duration is subject to the level of the creator



Cost to use: 45 P.P.E. or 90 I.S.P.



Market cost: 400,000 credits plus an additional 100,000 credits



per level of the creator



Sheltering Force:




Same effects as the spell found on page 141



in the



Federation of Magic book.



Initial P.P.E. cost: 400



Duration is subject to the level of the creator



Cost to use: 20 P.P.E. or 40 I.S.P.



Market cost: 20,000 credits per level of the enchantment, very



useful for wilderness travelers



Superhuman Endurance:




Same effects as the spell found on



page 138 in the



Federation of Magic book.



Initial P.P.E. cost: 300



Duration is two hours



Cost to use: 12 P.P.E. or 24 I.S.P.



Market cost: 60,000 credits, very useful for wilderness travelers



Sustain:




Same effects as the spell found on page 138 in the



Federation of Magic




book.



Initial P.P.E. cost: 600



Duration is subject to the level of the creator



Cost to use: 12 P.P.E. or 24 I.S.P.



Market cost: 100,000 credits per level of the enchantment, very



useful for explorers, especially Shifters.



Giant Robots and Other Vehicles:



Cloak of Darkness:




Same effects as the spell found on page



131 in the



Federation of Magic book. It affects the vehicle



and a five foot radius around it. Only those within the vehicle



can see through the darkness.



Initial P.P.E. cost: 200



Duration is subject to the level of the creator



Cost to use: 6 P.P.E. or 12 I.S.P.



Market cost: 120,000 credits plus 20,000 credits per level of the



creator



Chromatic Protection:




Same effects as the spell found on



page 132 in the



Federation of Magic book.



Initial P.P.E. cost: 400



Duration is subject to the level of the creator



Cost to use: 10 P.P.E. or 20 I.S.P.



Market cost: 200,000 credits plus 25,000 credits per level of the



creator



Sheltering Force:




Same effects as the spell found on page 141



in the



Federation of Magic book. Surrounds the vehicle



only. Anyone who exits the vehicle is instantly removed



from its effects. Can only be used while the vehicle is immobile.



Travel will automatically break the spell.



Initial P.P.E. cost: 600



Duration is subject to the level of the creator



Cost to use: 20 P.P.E. or 40 I.S.P.



Market cost: 120,000 credits plus 50,000 credits per level of the



creator



Sustain:




Same effects as the spell found on page 138 in the



Federation of Magic




book. Only affects those within the



vehicle. Anyone who exits the vehicle will immediately be



removed from its effects.



Initial P.P.E. cost: 1200



Duration is subject to the level of the creator



Cost to use: 12 P.P.E. or 24 I.S.P.



Market cost: 500,000 credits per level of the creator



Watchguard:




Same effects as the spell found on page 134 in



the



Federation of Magic book. The vehicle enchanted must



remain immobile for the magic to work. Travel will automatically



break the spell.



Initial P.P.E. cost: 400



Duration is subject to the level of the creator



Cost to use: 10 P.P.E. or 20 I.S.P.



Market cost: 150,000 credits plus 50,000 credits per level of the



creator



Techno- Wizard



Body Armor



By Mark Sumimoto



It is well known that techno-wizards love pre-rifts aviator



gear and apparel. Several weapon manufacturers, including



Northern Gun, the Manistique Imperium and the Black Market,



have taken advantage of this and manufacture a line of body ar



mor



designed for the techno-wizard fetish. They use M.D.C.



animal and monster leather and high-tech M.D.C. mesh and



plates in their construction and resemble the pilot outfits that



techno-wizards so adore. Most are light-style suits that have



small modules into which techno-wizards can install their magic



enhancements. However, the prices for these suits are a bit on



high side, due to their light, but sturdy materials and their small



target client base. But this small, but well-to-do market has provided



very good profits because despite the higher prices for



these suits because many techno-wizards are quite willing to pay



a bit more to look "cool".



The Coalition States consider these suits to be unfavorable,



but have not outlawed them. Besides, if a TW wants to walk



around wearing this outfit, let him. It just makes him all the easier



to recognize. None of the following suits are full environmental



because full metal body armor can interfere with magic



and P.P.E. flow. However, most of them will be enchanted by



their purchasers to make them equal or superior to full models.



Note that Northern Gun and the Manistique Imperium do not



provide TW enhancements, but suits that are resold by



Stormspire, the Black Market, techno-wizards, or other inde



pendent



dealers may come equipped with them at an added cost.



Four enhancements are the maximum number that can be built



into any one suit, although additional separate devices may be



carried.



89



NG-TW Jumpsuit Armor



By Mark Sumimoto



This is the lightest of the M.D.C. suits available. It resembles



a pilot-style jumpsuit and is quite comfortable. It is com



posed



primarily of light mesh with light pads strategically



positioned around the torso, joints, and groin. It zips in the front



and has a leather vest area for adornments. It comes with dinosaur



leather and ceramic plate reinforced boots and gloves. Standard



head protection is a skullcap and goggles reinforced with a



light polycarbonate plate, but can be substituted with a helmet



from another suit later. Most techno-wizards wear this suit under



the NG-TW Armored Jacket listed below.



Type:




Light personal body armor



Size:




Human or equivalent, but can be ordered in larger sizes



for a small fee (10-15%)



Weight:




8 Ibs., not counting any likely TW modifications



Mobility:




Excellent mobility, no movement penalties.



M.D.C. by location:



Head/cap - 10 M.D.C. or another helmet can be substituted,



usually 30 M.D.C.



Arms-10 each



Legs-12 each



Main Body - 25 M.D.C.



Market Price:




20,000 credits, rather pricey, but one is paying



for style and comfort, not function and the demand for them



is high, but limited. Excellent availability in most magicfriendly



communities, but fair to poor elsewhere.



NG-TW



Flyboy Armor



By Mark Sumimoto



This body armor is similar to the jumpsuit model, but is



heavier and more armored. It has heavier plates and pads built



into the mesh suit and is used as a light combat armor. It uses



the same gloves and boots as the NG-TW Jumpsuit, but has extra



padding in the skullcap and larger visor-style eye protection.



This suit is also commonly used in conjunction with the TW Armored



Jacket.



Type:




Light personal body armor



Size:




Human or equivalent, but can be ordered in larger sizes



for a small fee (10-15%)



Weight:




10 Ibs., not counting any likely TW modifications



Mobility:




Good mobility, -5% to prowl, swim, climb and other



physical skills



M.D.C. by location:



Head/cap - 20 M.D.C. or another helmet can be substituted,



usually 30 M.D.C. or more



Arms-12 each



Legs-15 each



Main Body - 40 M.D.C.



Market Price:




30,000 credits, very pricey, but one is paying



for style and comfort, not function and the demand for them



is high, but limited. Excellent availability in most magicfriendly



communities, but fair to poor elsewhere.



NG-TW Fighter Pilot Armor



By Mark Sumimoto



TW Aviator combat pilots love this armor. It is designed to



look like the suits of 20th century fighter pilots, but is bulkier



and has heavier protection. Its composition is primarily M.D.C.



mesh and heavy padding. It comes with heavy boots, elbow and



knee pads, and a reinforced ceramic helmet, which can be sealed



to provide protection against gas attacks. The helmet comes



equipped with a multi-optic system (which usually gets replaced



by the magic optic system) and an air mask (which usually get



modified with the breathe without air spell). Really "cool"



techno-wizards get their name or, more often, nickname painted



on the front of the helmet. This can cause some problems, if



two or more techno-wizards with the same nickname, run into



each other. For some reason, the nickname "Maverick" seems



to pop up a lot and causes the most conflict. The suit is also



growing in popularity among non-TW pilots, although most



think its silly to paint their name on the helmet.



Type:




Medium body armor with some environmental features



Size:




Human or equivalent, but can be ordered in larger sizes



for an additional cost (usually 15-25%)



Weight:




15 Ibs., not counting any likely TW modifications



Mobility:




Good mobility, -10% to prowl, -15% to swim, climb,



and other physical skills



M.D.C. by location:



Head/helmet - 40 M.D.C.



Arms - 25 each



Legs - 30 each



Main Body - 60 M.D.C.



Market Price:




40,000 credits, good availability in magicfriendly



communities, fair availability elsewhere. The Manistique



Imperium makes a comparable suit for the same cost.



90



NG-TW Armored Jacket



By Mark Sumimoto



When techno-wizards want to look their best during combat,



this is the jacket they wear. The Armored Jacket uses the finest



dinosaur hides and light ceramic plates to create the ultimate in



stylish protection. They have areas along the shoulders and



chest where the buyer can sew or iron-on patches and the back



can have any number of designs added to it by professional artist/



armorers at additional cost, anywhere between 50 to 500



credits depending on the design. They are designed to be worn



over another light suit, usually the NG-TW Jumpsuit listed previously,



and come with additional shin guards. Also, due to its



limited area, only two TW enhancements can be built into this



suit. This limitation, however, is seen as an advantage by



techno-wizards who use this jacket in addition to another light



suit, which can also hold enchantments.



Type:




Augmenting torso and arm suit with light shin guards



Size:




Human or equivalent, but can be ordered in larger sizes



for a small fee (10-15%)



Weight:




10 Ibs., not counting any likely TW modifications



Mobility:




Excellent mobility, no movement penalties when



worn separately, but adds a penalty of -5% to prowl and -



10% climb, swim and other physical skills when worn over



another suit.



M.D.C. by location:



Head - None, unless other body armor is worn



Arms - 8 each, plus any body armor worn under the jacket



Legs - 10 each, plus any body armor worn under the shin



guards



Main Body - 20 M.D.C.



Market Price:




35,000 credits, very expensive because the materials



are somewhat difficult to obtain and it is in high de



mand



by Techno-wizards. Good availability in magic



friendly



communities, but poor elsewhere.



Imitator Armor



By Jason Richards



The imitator is a unique and rare suit of armor capable of enhancing



the wearer's abilities. Very stylish, customizable, and



popular with Techno-Wizards or any character that likes having



a certain "zing". This is one of several models of body armor



made by Arzno Weapons Manufacturing in pre-Rifts Arizona,



and used by the company's defense force, the Arzno Mercenary



Corps. Many officers of the A.M.C. use this suit of armor in



particular.



Model: Arzno TWA-1250



MDC: 40



Prowl Penalty:




None; lightweight and extremely maneuverable



Cost:




1,000,000 credits; high cost is for customizing and difficulty



of creating these versatile suits.



Description:



This armor uses a unique combination of spells at conception



to allow it to give its user certain abilities. This armor is made



in five styles: Eagle, Rhino, Cheetah, Serpent, and Skeleton.



Each has its own set of powers/spells and resembles the animal/



creature in emulates. (GM note: As you can see, any combination



of spells are possible. These are just the five most



popular models. The characters, at your discretion, may "build



their own armor" for an additional 50%. What spells are available



are totally at your discretion.)



Features of Eagle Armor:



1. Fly as the Eagle



Effect: flyatSOmph



PPE to Activate: 25



Duration: 2 hours



2. Wind Rush



Effect: Possible knockdown, disarm, etc. See spell.



PPE to Activate: 20



Range:




120ft.



Savings Throw:




A roll of 18 to 20 saves from losing balance



and/or some items.



Rate of Fire:




Once per melee



3. Thunderclap



Effect:




HF of 8, gives user bonuses of+5 initiative, +1 strike,



parry, dodge.



PPE to Activate: 4



Range:




Directly 30 ft, can be heard one mile away.



4. Armor of Ithan



MDC:




60



PPE to Activate:




10



Duration:




24 melees



Features of the Rhino Armor:



1. Superhuman Strength



Effect:




Gives the user a PS of 30 and PE of 24.



91



PPE to Activate:




10



Duration:




12 melees



2. Invulnerability



Effect:




Impervious to Energy, +10 save (see spell), and +35



MDC.



PPE to Activate:




25



Duration:




6 melees



3. Power Ram



Damage:




4D6 MD (plus punch damage if supernatural)



PPE to Activate:




10



Duration:




6 melees



Range: touch



Rate of Fire:




counts as two attacks



Savings Throw:




Dodge



4. Armor of Ithan



MDC:




60



PPE to Activate:




10



Duration:




24 melees



Features of Cheetah Armor:



1. Superhuman Speed



Effect:




Grants the user a speed of 44, +2 parry, and +6 initiative.



PPE to Activate:




10



Duration:




6 minutes



2. Roar



Effect:




Identical to Thunderclap spell; HF of 8, gives user bonuses



of+5 initiative, +1 strike, parry, dodge.



PPE to Activate: 4



3. Invisibility (Simple)



Effect:




User can turn invisible.



PPE to Activate: 6



Duration:




18 minutes



4. Armor of Ithan



MDC:




60



PPE to Activate:




10



Duration:




24 melees



Features of Serpent Armor:



1. Chameleon



Effect:




User can blend in with his surroundings (see spell).



PPE to Activate: 6



Duration:




27 minutes



2. Climb



Effect:




User can climb any surface at 60% proficiency.



PPE to Activate: 3



Duration:




30 minutes



3. Breath Fire



Damage:




4D6 MD or !D6xlO SDC



PPE to Activate: 7



Range:




600ft.



4. Armor of Ithan



MDC: 60



PPE to Activate: 10



Duration: 24 melees



Features of Skeleton Armor



1. Fear



Effect:




HFofl6



PPE to Activate: 5



Duration:




6 minutes



2. Life Drain



Effect:




Reduces SDC and HP by half, speed by half, attacks by



one, and skills by 10%.



PPE to Activate:




25



Range:




30 ft. and a 15 ft. area



Duration:




12 melees



3. Shadow Meld



Effect:




Wearer of the armor is completely invisible in shadow.



PPE to Activate:




10



Duration:




12 minutes



4. Armor of Ithan



MDC:




60



PPE to Activate:




10



Duration:




24 melees



Exterminator Armor



By Jason Richards



This formidable armor is standard issue for the Arzno Mercenary



Corps artillery. It increases strength to allow for the use of



rail guns and other heavy weapons.



Model:




Arzno TWA-1600



MDC: 60 + forcefield



Prowl penalty:




-15%



Cost: 950,000 credits; available only in Arzno.



Features:



Globe of Daylight



Range: 30 ft radius



Effect: Illumination of said radius and keeps vampires at bay.



PPE to Activate: 2



Duration: 18 minutes



92



Armor of Ithan



Range: self



MDC: 60



PPE to Activate: 10



Duration: 24 melees



Invulnerability



Range: self



Effect: 35 MDC, impervious to energy same as spell, +10 save



vs. everything (see spell).



PPE to Activate: 25



Duration: 6 melees



Superhuman Strength



Range: self



Effect: Increases the user's strength to 28.



PPE to Activate: 15



Duration: 12 minutes



Blades and Spikes



Range: touch



Damage: The armor is covered in silver spikes and has large



blades on the shins, shoulders, and forearms. This gives the armor



an AR of 12. In hand-to-hand, a missed AR roll means that



the attacker hits a spike or blade and takes 3D6 SDC or HP to



Vampires. This same damage is done when parrying an attack



or attacking.



Light/Scout Armor



By Jason Richards



This armor is standard issue for the Arzno Mercenary Corps recon



squad. It's powers of stealth are quite formidable.



Model:




Arzno TWA-900



MDC:




30 + forcefield



Prowl penalty:




none



b: 500,000 credits; available only in Arzno.



Features:



Globe of Daylight



Range: 30 ft radius



Effect: Illumination of said radius and keeps vampires at bay.



PPE to Activate: 2



Duration: 18 minutes



Armor of Ithan



Range: self



MDC: 30



PPE to Activate: 10



Duration: 24 melees



Invisibility: Superior



Range: self



Effect: Superior and total invisibility and 85% prowl.



PPE to Activate: 25



Duration: 6 minutes



Blades and Spikes



Range: touch



Damage: The armor is covered in silver spikes and has large



blades on the shins, shoulders, and forearms. This gives the armor



an AR of 12. In hand-to-hand, a missed AR roll means that



the attacker hits a spike or blade and takes 3D6 SDC or HP to



Vampires. This same damage is done when parrying an attack



or attacking.



Other Equipment



and Weapons



TW Storm Staff



By Mark Sumimoto



This is an advanced TW Lightning Staff capable of firing



bolts of electricity and making its user impervious to energy and



the added ability to summon thunder and lightning from the sky.



It is similar in appearance to the Lightning Staff and has an emerald



mounted on the top of the ornament.



Initial P.P.E. cost: 1200



Spells needed: Call Lighning (15), Lightning Arc (30), Thunderclap



(4), Impervious to Energy (20), and



Ironwood (50).



Physical Requirements: Wooden staff, silver or copper plating,



and an emerald worth 2000 credits.



Damage: Lightning bolts inflict 6D6 M.D. and summoned



lightning and thunder inflicts 6D6 M.D has a horror factor of 8.



Both lightning bolts fired from the staff and summoned from the



sky are +2 to strike.



Duration: One melee per level of the user.



Range: 1000 feet to fire lightning bolts, 500 feet to summon



thunder and lightning, self only for immunity for energy.



Cost to recharge: 30 P.P.E. or 60 I.S.P. plus 10 P.P.E. or 20



I.S.P. for each bolt summoned.



Time to build: 8D6 hours



Market cost: 250,000 credits



Ice Sword



By Mark Sumimoto



A counterpoint for the flaming sword, this is a sword hilt



with one diamond located where the blade should be and another



located in the bottom of the handle with a silver bracket



connecting the two. When activated a blade of ice extends from



the hilt and is capable of inflicting Mega-damage.



Initial P.P.E. cost: 75



Spells needed: Frostblade (15) or Ice (15)



Physical Requirements: Two diamonds worth 1000 credits or



more, a metal or wood sword hilt, and silver for the bracket.



Damage: 4D6M.D.



Duration: Two minutes per level of the user.



P.P.E. to use: 10 P.P.E. or 20 I.S.P.



Time to build: 4D6 hours



Market cost: 70,000 credits



93



TW Firedemon



By Mark Sumimoto



Spells needed: Call Lighning (15), Lightning Arc (30), and



Ironwood (50).



Physical Requirements: Wooden staff and silver or copper plating.



Damage: 6D6 M.D. at+2 to strike



Duration: One melee per level of the user.



Range: 1000 feet to fire lightning bolts, self only for immunity



for energy.



Cost to recharge: 30 P.P.E. or 601.S.P.



Time to build: 6D6 hours



Market cost: 125,000 credits



TW Earthshaker



By Mark Sumimoto



This weapon really packs a punch. Built into a mace or hammer,



it releases a wave of force whenever it strikes an opponent.



Its effects are identical to that of the spell, Shockwave. Unlike



the spell, its effects are limited to a specific target. Although



called the Earthshaker, if the weapon is struck on the ground,



the shockwave generated only affects a radius often feet.



Initial P.P.E. cost: 140



Spells needed: Shockwave (35) and Power Weapon (35)



Physical Requirements: A metal or stone hammer or mace and



a large quartz crystal to be placed at the top of the weapon.



Damage: 1D4 X 10 M.D. plus knockdown penalties or knockdown



penalties only if struck on the ground. See page 144 of



Federation of Magic for details.



Duration: One melee per level of the user.



P.P.E. to use: 35 P.P.E. or 701.S.P.



Time to build: 6D6 hours Market cost: 150,000 credits



TW Mirrorshield



By Mark Sumimoto



The best defense is said to be a good offense. But in the case



of the Mirrorshield, the best defense is a good counter-offense.



The user can use the shield to parry physical hand to hand attacks



with the shield as usual, but long range attacks are de



flected



off of it and energy attacks are reflected back to its



source. The Mirrorshield is popular among Cyber-knights, who



like its defensive power, and Crazies, who think its cool to see



someone shoot himself in the face. The shield has a magical



M.D.C. of 40 and when the deflection power is activated, the



shield gains an additional 60 M.D.C. and only takes one quarter



damage from attacks.



Initial P.P.E. cost: 150



Spells needed: Magic Shield (6), Deflect (10), Targeted Deflection



(15), and Power Weapon (35).



Physical Requirements: A highly polished silver plated shield.



Damage: Varies with the attack deflected or can inflict 2D4



M.D. with physical strikes while energized or 3D6 S.D.C. normally.



Duration: One minute per level of the user.



Range: Deflected energy blasts have a range of 500 feet.



Bonuses: +3 to parry, plus parries of 5 or higher deflects longrange



attacks away and 13 or higher reflects energy attacks back



to its source.



Cost to use: 20 P.P.E. or 401.S.P.



Time to build: 8D6 hours



Market cost: 220,000 credits



TW Enforcer Gauntlet



By Mark Sumimoto



This is a tough-guy weapon like the brass knuckles of the



20th century. It looks like an ordinary gauntlet with quartz crys



tals



set in the knuckles. It allows its user to inflict damage with



punches as if he had supernatural strength and to parry M.D. at



tacks.



Advanced models use the combat gauntlets from Juicer



Uprising and convert them to magic with more powerful results.



Initial P.P.E. cost: 20 for the basic and 30 for the advanced.



Spells needed: Fist of Fury (10) for the basic model and Fist of



94



iwe



Fury (10) and Superhuman Strength (10) for the advanced



model.



Physical Requirements: A metal gauntlet and four quartz crystals



for the basic model and the Combat Gauntlet, four quartz



crystals, and an additional large quartz crystal placed in the battery



slot for the advanced model.



Damage: Varies with the strength of the user, plus the advanced



model inflicts an additional 2D6 M.D. and can perform a crushing



attack that inflicts 3D6 M.D. per squeeze.



Duration: One minute per level of the user.



Range: Hand to hand only



Cost to recharge: 10 P.P.E. or 20 I.S.P. for the basic model and



20 P.P.E. or 40 I.S.P. for the advanced.



Time to build: 4D6 hours for the basic model and 6D6 hours for



the advanced.



Market cost: 30,000 credits for the basic model and 45,000 for



advanced.



TWW-1000 Water Sword



By Jason Richards



A Vampire-fighting weapon designed by the Techno-



Wizards at Arzno Weapons Manufacturing. The weapon is



merely a pipe made into a hilt (hand-guard optional), often with



grip or tape rapped around it. Three aquamarines are placed



around the diameter of the hilt. When activated, water pours out



of the handle and is telekinetically held into the shape of a blade



or pole. Regardless of the surface hit, the blade remains solid.



Range: hand held, two feet long.



Duration: typically 10 minutes, two minutes per level of creator.



Damage: 1D4 SDC or 4D6 HP to vampires



Energy Requirements: 10 PPE or 20 ISP



To Create: 100 PPE, a metal pipe and three aquamarines worth



100 credits each.



Creation Spells: Telekinesis and Create Water



Cost: 25000 credits, typically twice as much on the black market



in the West.



TWW-1050 Water Dagger



By Jason Richards



A smaller version of the Water Sword above, from Arzno



Weapons Manufacturing. The weapon is merely a small pipe



made into a hilt (hand-guard optional), often with grip or tape



rapped around it. One aquamarine is placed in the butt of the



hilt. When activated, water pours out of the handle and is tele



kinetically



held into the shape of a blade or pole. Regardless of



the surface hit, the blade remains solid. It is frequently chosen



over its larger companion due to its size makes it easy to conceal.



Range: hand held, six inches long (one foot with handle)



Duration: typically 10 minutes, two minutes per level of creator



Damage: 1 point of SDC or 2D6 HP to Vampires



Energy Requirements: 10 PPE or 20 ISP



To Create: 100 PPE, a metal pipe and one aquamarine worth



100 credits.



Creation Spells: Telekinesis and Create Water



Cost: 21000 credits, typically twice as much on the black market



in the West



TWW-1300 Lightning Mace



By Jason Richards



A mace (homemade or commercial) with an amethyst in the



top of the head. The striking surface has roughly a dozen holes



drilled through it, through which twines about four feet of



heavy-duty copper wire. Arzno offers the addition of silver



spikes for an additional 150 credits. This weapon is becoming



extremely popular with renegade Dog Boys or those who work



with very little "supervision".



Range: hand held, two feet long on average. Can fire a blast



that goes 100 ft.



Duration: until charges extinguished



Damage: as a normal weapon, IDS SDC or HP to Vampires if



silver spikes are used.



While activated the weapon does 5D6 MD for a blast or hit.



Blasts are +2 strike.



Energy Requirements: 10 PPE or 20 ISP for 5 charges (misses



do not count as charges, but parries do.)



To Create: 80 PPE, a mace or club, one small amethyst worth 60



credits, and about four feet of copper wire.



Creation Spells: Call Lightning and Energy Bolt



Cost: 40,000 credits, typically twice as much on the black market..



Notes: A similar model, the TWW-1350 is identical to the



above except that it is a staff. Stats are identical except physical



requirements are doubled (effectively two maces joined at the



handle.) There are still only five charges and the retail cost is



50,000 credits. A TWB-900 sheath is available for the club



model, but not the staff.



TWW-150 Steam Grenades



By Jason Richards



A Vampire-fighting weapon designed by the Techno-



Wizards at Arzno Weapons Manufacturing. The grenade does



little damage and is used basically as a riot-control style tear



gas. It is used to flush Vampires out of their hiding places and



make them vulnerable to larger scale attack. It is a round grenade,



most frequently painted blue, with one small aquamarine



that serves as the trigger button.



Range: thrown, usually about 120 feet; 10 foot radius.



Duration: 2 melees



Damage: None, or 2D6 HP to Vampires per melee and causes



great burning pain. Causes 2D6 SDC to exposed skin and hurts



like the dickens! Double any possible pain penalties. The fog



slightly distorts visibility, -1 on all combat rolls.



Energy Requirements: 5 PPE or 10 ISP; 15 PPE or 30 ISP to recharge.



To Create: 60 PPE, one small aquamarine (40 credits), and conventional



a grenade.



95



Creation Spells: Create Water, Ignite Fire, and Fuel Flame



Cost: 200 credits, easily twice as much



on the biack market in



the West; recharges at Arzno cost 50 credits.



Vamp-Killer 2000



By Jason Richards



What can we say? If you want to kill vampires, this will do



the job. It's a must have for any serious vampire hunter.



Model:




Arzno TWW-2000



Weight:




301bs.



Cost:




200,000 credits. Only available in Arzno



Weapon Systems



1. Silver-bladed chain saw



Damage: !D6xlO SDC or 5D6 HP to Vampires



Range: armlength+2 feet



To Activate: Ignite Fire (5 PPE) for 5 rounds of use and Fuel



Flame (5 PPE) for each additional 5 rounds.



2. Cross spotlight (mounted over chain saw)



Damage: none, 3D6 HP to Vampires



Range: 100ft



Payload: Battery powered; effectively unlimited.



3. Grenade Launcher (mounted to right of chain




saw)



Damage: varies, wood fragmentation do 4D6 MD or 8D6 HP to



Vampires plus a 10% chance of hitting the heart of any given



Vamp in the radius.



Range: 150ft



Radius: 10ft



Rate of Fire: holds 5 grenades per clip.



TWW-500 Power Glove



By Jason Richards



A weapon designed to add a little power to your punch (no



pun intended). It bestows upon its user the ability to punch with



the strength of a supernatural being, even if an SDC creature.



Perhaps the best quality of this item is its compatibility with



other TW modifications or armor. It can be added to the gauntlet



of a suit of armor or to the TWE-900 Climbing Claws. In



any form, it is very formidable.



Range: hand to hand only



Duration: typically 5th level, 5 melees



Damage: users P.S. increased to supernatural (can't increase already



supernatural punch).



Energy Requirements: 5 PPE or 10ISP per charge, per glove



To Create: 120 PPE, a glove, gauntlet, or some other hand covering



and a large ruby (200 cr.)



Creation Spells: Energy Bolt and Fist of Fury



Cost: 40,000 per glove



TWW-950 Fire Dagger



By Jason Richards



Yet another Arzno innovation that has been reproduced by



many Techno-Wizards, the fire dagger is another modification



of a larger weapon. One small ruby is placed in the butt of a



sword hilt. It is frequently chosen over its larger companion due



to the fact that its size makes it easy to conceal.



Range: hand held, six inches long (one foot with handle)



Duration: typically 10 minutes, two minutes per level of creator



Damage: 2D6 MD



Energy Requirements: 7 PPE or 14 ISP



To



Create: 70 PPE, a sword hilt, and a ruby worth 100 credits.



Creation Spells: Fire Bolt or Circle of Flame



Cost: 43,000 credits, possibly twice as much on the black market.



TWB-1000 Jewelry



By Jason Richards



For a reason yet unexplained, emeralds seem to have the almost



unique ability to store PPE. Though this is inconsequential



to the average person, it is very helpful to mages. Many



Techno-Wizards have taken to designing jewelry as PPE reserves.



Typical Large Medallion: 20 PPE, Cost: 2500 credits



Typical Anklet or Bracelet: 15 PPE, Cost 2250 credits



Typical Ring: 10 PPE, Cost 2000 credits



To Create: The jewelry required and an emerald worth 1000,



750, or 500 for medallions, bracelets, and rings, respectively.



The PPE requirement is just twice what is needed to initially



charge the battery.



TWW-1100 Magical Sheath



By Jason Richards



Originated by Arzno, but now in common use in other places,



this sheath automatically activates Techno-Wizard blades and



other melee weapons. It is made in proportion to the blade (or



size it would be if it were activated) and is lined with several



emeralds that serve as PPE batteries. Each emerald can hold 20



PPE and is worth 1000 credits, minimum. Any number can be



used, but five is typically the most. Whenever a TW melee



weapon is drawn, the PPE needed to activate it is taken from the



PPE reserve. Power is regenerated 2 per hour normally or 10



per melee on a ley line.



To Create: 40 PPE per emerald to initially charge the batteries



(initial charge cost more than actual PPE reserve), emeralds



worth 1000 credits each, and a sheath.



Cost: 1000 plus 2000 per emerald



TWC-100 Receiver/Translator



By Jason Richards



The device is made of a walkie-talkie or small radio transmitter



and receiver with one large quartz and three small garnets in



the center or each the transmitter and receiver. The translator



can be hand-held or attached to a strap around the neck, and the



receiver is placed on an earpiece of some sort, usually a large set



of headphones. When the transmitter is placed over your



Adam's Apple it translates what you say into another language,



via the spell "Tongues". Likewise, the receiver translates any



thing



said into the base language of the user, provided it is set to



translate that language. Up to five languages can be installed at



the base price, 60 extra credits per additional.



Requirements: Two large quartz worth roughly 150 credits each



and six garnets worth 50 each. Also needed is an old radio or



walkie-talkie. It requires the Tongues spell and an Energy Bolt.



Total PPE to make: 300.



PPE to use: 10 per 10 minutes.



Cost: 3000 credits



96



TWC-lSOEyesofThoth



Reading Glasses



By Jason Richards



A pair of glasses (no lenses necessary) with several small topaz



stones lining the earpieces. Worn like normal glasses, but



let the user read any language.



Requirements: Ten small topaz totaling about 300 dollars. An



old set of frames is the only other physical requirement. The



spells required are Eyes of Thoth and an Energy Bolt and an initial



375 PPE.



PPE to use: 10 per 10 minutes



Cost: 800 credits. Can also be installed in equipment (armor,



etc.) for an additional 30%.



TWM-1000 Respirator



By Jason Richards



A breathing apparatus that helps a severely injured person



breathe. It is made of a breath mask or filter with two medium



quartz at the top where the bridge of the nose fits. An



accordion-looking tube is attached at about the chin and moves



in and out when the mask is active.



Duration: 15 minutes



Effect: Temporarily breathes for a patient. It offers a +40% to



save versus coma or death is the trauma is respiratory related. It



also offers a +2 save against smoke or toxin inhalation. It can



also function as a breath mask, making the wearer impervious to



inhaled toxins.



Energy Requirements: 5 PPE or 10 ISP



To Create: 80 PPE, a breath mask or filter and two clear quartz



worth 50 credits each.



Creation Spells: Energy Bolt, Breathe Without Air, and Wind



Rush



Cost: 300 credits, easily three times as much on the black market



throughout the world. TW Medical devices are a rare commodity.



TW Flight Pack



By Jason Richards



Used as an attachment for both TW armor and traditional armor



or by light recon troops, this flight pack has a magical propulsion



system for quiet movement and versatility. It is simply



a traditional style jet pack with a large rose quartz and a clear



quartz imbedded in the back and copper wires running between



them and the hand-held control.



Model:




Arzno TWV-1000



Crew:




1 pilot



MDC by Location:



  • Main Body: 30 MDC



  • depleting the main body makes the vehicle useless and



the flight pack is also difficult to hit, possible only on a



called shot and even then at -3.



Speed:




50 MPH or 100 MPH on a ley line



Creation: 150 PPE, Energy Field and Fly as the Eagle spells, a



large rose quartz (200 cr.), large clear quartz (500 cr.), a jet



pack, and 3 feet of copper wire.



Statistical Data:



Dimensions: 2' x 8" x 3'



Weight:




roughly 20 Ibs



Cargo:




None



Power System:




Techno-Wizardry; 10 PPE or 20 ISP will last



for two hours. The pack can fly indefinitely on a ley line.



PPE Battery:




holds 20 PPE (4 hours) for. Recharges at ley



lines at 10 per melee or elsewhere 2 per hour.



Cost:




60,000 credits in Arzno; easily 150,000 on the black market



Weapon Systems:



None.



TW Scout Cycle



By Jason Richards



Used for reconnaissance and quick-strike missions, the scout



cycle has become an asset. Four typically escort a troop transport



or assault vehicle.



Model:




Arzno TWV-2500



Crew:




1 pilot



MDC by Location:



Wheels (2): 10 ea.



  • Front Mounted Shotgun: 10



""Headlight: 5



""Side-Mounted mini-missile launchers (2): 20 ea.



    • Main Body: 90



Magic Forcefield: 100



  • a small and difficult target to hit (-3 strike on a called shot).



    • depleting the main body makes the vehicle useless.



Speed:




210 mph max if on flat, well-kept roads. Considerably



less (half) on not-so-good terrain. Cruising considered to be



100-120 MPH.



Statistical Data:



Height:




7 feet



Weight:




400 Ibs fully loaded



Cargo:




Minimal. One cubic foot, maximum.



Power System:




Techno-Wizardry; telekinesis spell (8 PPE)



gives a range of 50 miles.



PPE Battery:




holds 80 PPE (500 miles) for engine and an additional



100 for TW and weapon functions. Recharges at ley



lines at 10 per melee or elsewhere 2 per hour.



Cost: 800,000 credits. Available only in Arzno.



Weapon Systems:



Multi-Function Shotgun



Primary Purpose: Assault (Anti-Vampire)



Secondary Purpose: Defense



Weapon Options:



a) Conventional Rounds



Damage: 5D6 SDC



b) Silver Rounds



Damage: 4D6 SDC or 8D6 HP to Vampires



Rate of Fire: Equal to hand-to-hand of the pilot



Effective Range: 200 ft



Payload: 6 shots



Mini-Missile Launchers (2): These launchers are located



each side of the vehicle. One of the few non-magic features, the



manufacturers at Arzno found it more efficient to use conventional



means to fire the missiles. Typically, wood or silver frag



mentation



missiles are used as anti-Vampire artillery. *Note:



These launchers are totally capable of firing conventional missiles.



97



Primary Purpose: Anti Personnel (Anti-Vampire)



Secondary Purpose: Defense



Damage: Varies. Wood Fragmentation dolD4 MD or 2D4xlO



HP to Vampires. Silver do 4D6 MD or !D6xlO to Vampires.



The radius on each is 10 ft.



Rate of Fire: can fire up to its entire payload in one volley.



Effective Range: About 1 mile.



Payload: 4; two per launcher



Headlight:




This high-powered headlight has a cross over it to



do damage to Vampires.



Primary Purpose: Anti-Vampire



Secondary Purpose: Illumination



Damage: 4D6 to Vampires



Rate of Fire: Standard



Range: 300ft.



Payioad: Draw from PPE battery; Effectively Unlimited



Techno-Wizard features:



1. Armor of Ithan



MDC: 100



PPE to Activate: 10



Duration: 40 melees



3. Globe of Silence



Radius: 10 ft.



PPE to Activate: 20



Duration: 15 minutes



2. Globe of Daylight



Radius: 120ft



PPE to Activate: 2



Duration: 30 minutes



4. Invisibility: Superior



Range: Vehicle and rider



PPE to Activate: 20



Duration: 30 minutes



Effects: The bike and rider are invisible to all forms of detection



except the ability to see the invisible. Prowl is 84% or 98% if



globe of silence is also active. The user can take no hostile action



or the invisibility will cancel.



"Demon Beetle" Troop Transport



By Jason Richards



The transport vehicle used by the Arzno Mercenary Corp is a



large, rectangular shape covered with spikes of varying size.



The railgun turret is located in the back part of the vehicle and is



accessible from inside only. In the front section, there is the



mini-missile launcher. A large sliding door on each side of the



transport facilitates the entrance and exit of troops. It is painted



a pitch-black color, which increases its usefulness in nighttime



operations and accents the silver spikes quite nicely.



Model:




Arzno TWV-2900



Crew:




1 pilot, 1 copilot/gunner, 1 gunner, and 1 communications



Troop Transport:




20 troops plus crew. An additional 5 can be



squeezed in and another 10 could ride on the roof if necessary.



MDC by Location:



Railgun Turret: 50



Top mini-missile launcher: 50



Turret spotlights (2): 10 ea.



  • Front Headlights (2): 5 ea.



    • Wheels (6): 50 ea.



      • Main Body: 200



Magic Forcefield: 200



  • A small and difficult target to hit (-3 strike on a called



shot).



    • The vehicle suffers no movement penalties with as few as



4 wheels. Losing half results in speed as -50%.



      • Depleting the main body makes the vehicle useless.



98



Speed:




210 mph maximum if on flat, well-kept roads. Considerably



less (half) on not-so-good terrain. Cruising considered



80-90 MPH. TK Engine.



Statistical Data:



Height:




12 feet



Width:




8 feet



Length:




30 feet



Weight:




15 tons fully loaded.



Cargo:




Aside from communications and personal equipment,



25 cubic feet is used for storage.



Power System:




Techno-Wizardry; telekinesis spell (8 PPE)



gives a range of 50 miles.



PPE Battery:




Holds 80 PPE (500 miles) and recharges at ley



lines at 10 per melee or elsewhere 2 per hour.



Cost: 18 million credits; available only in Arzno.



eapon Systems:



1. Arzno Multi-function rail run



Primary Purpose: Infantry support (Anti-Vampire)



Secondary Purpose: Defense



Weapon Options:



a) Conventional Rounds



Damage: !D6xlO



Range: 4000 ft.



b) Silver Rounds



Damage: 5D4 MD or !D6xlO to Vampires (10% chance of



piercing heart)



Range: 4000 ft.



c) Wooden Rounds



Damage: 1D4 MD or 3D6xlO to Vampires (10% chance of



piercing heart)



Range: 2000 ft.



Rate of Fire: Standard



Payload: 100 bursts of conventional or silver rounds. PPE bat



tery



allows 100 bursts of wooden rounds.



2. Mini-Missile Launcher:




This launchers is located on top of



the vehicle. One of the few non-magic features, the manu



facturers



at Arzno found it more efficient to use conventional



means to fire the missiles. Typically, wood or silver frag



mentation



are used as anti-Vampire artillery. *Note: These



launchers are totally capable of firing conventional missiles.



Primary Purpose: Anti-Personnel (Anti-Vampire)



Secondary Purpose: Defense



Damage: Varies. Wood Fragmentation do 1 or 2 MD or



2D4xlO HP to Vampires. Silver does 4D6 MD or !D6xlO



Vampires. The radius on each is 10 ft.



Rate of Fire: can fire up to half of its entire payload in one volley



Effective Range: About 1 mile.



Payload: 40 missiles



Spotlights and Headlights (4 total): These high-powered spot



lights



have crosses over them to do damage to Vampires.



They are located two in the front, one on the missile launcher



(swivels separately) and one on the weapon turret.



Primary Purpose: Anti-Vampire



Secondary Purpose: Illumination



Damage: !D4xlO to Vampires



Rate of Fire: Standard



Range: 300ft.



Payload: Draw from PPE battery; Effectively Unlimited



Techno-Wizard features:



1. Armor of Ithan



MDC: 200



PPE to Activate: 20



Duration: 40 melees



2. Globe of Daylight



Radius: 120ft



PPE to Activate: 2



Duration: 30 minutes



3. Invulnerability



Effect: Impervious to Energy, +10 save (see spell), and +35



MDC



PPE to Activate: 25



Duration: 10 melees



Annihilator Assault Vehicle



By Jason Richards



A Vampire killing



machine*. Lots of fun. A retro-fitted prerifts



fire engine.



Model: Arzno TWV-3200



Crew: 1 pilot, 1 copilot/gunner, 3 turret gunners, 4 passengers



MDC by Location:



Water Cannon Turrets (2): 60



Cab Railgun Turret: 40



Side Mini-Missile Launchers (2): 50



Side Medium-Range Missile Launchers (2): 60



    • Flare Launcher: 5



Spot lights (2 front, 3 turret): 5



  • Wheels: 5



      • Main Body: 120



Magic Forcefield: 500



  • a small and difficult target to hit (-3 strike on a called shot)



    • the flare launcher is extremely hard to hit (-5 strike on a



called shot)



      • depleting the main body makes the vehicle useless



Speed: 210 mph max if on flat, well-kept roads. Considerably



less (half) on not-so-good terrain.



Statistical Data:



Height:




15 feet



Width:




10 feet



Length:




35 feet



Cargo:




Minimal. About 10 cubic feet of interior storage.



Other storage is achieved by attaching items on hooks, straps,



etc. outside the vehicle.



Power System:




Magic; telekinesis spell (8 PPE) gives a range



of 50 miles.



PPE Battery:




holds 80 PPE (500 miles) and recharges at ley



lines at 10 per melee or elsewhere 2 per hour.



Cost:




22 million credits. Available only in Arzno.



Weapon Systems:



Water Cannons: These high-pressure water cannons are fed



from the truck's magical supply of water.



Primary Purpose: Anti-Vampire



Secondary Purpose: Fire Extinguishing



Damage: 2D4 SDC or !D6xlO to Vampires



Rate of Fire: Equal to hand-to-hand of the pilot



Effective Range: 200 ft



Payload: 100 shots each are provided by PPE batteries. They



can be recharged with 40 more shots for 10 PPE.



99



Mini-Missile Launchers




(2): These launchers are located each



side of the vehicle. One of the few non-magic features, the



manufacturers at Arzno found it more efficient to use conventional



means to fire the missiles. Typically, wood fragmentation



or TW water missiles are used as anti-Vampire



artillery. *Note: These launchers are totally capable of firing



conventional missiles.



Primary Purpose: Anti-Vampire



Secondary Purpose: Anti-Personnel



Damage: Varies. Wood Fragmentation do 1D4 MD or 2D4x 10



HP to Vampires. Water do !D6xlO to Vampires. The radius on



each is 10 ft.



Rate of Fire: can fire up to its entire payload in one volley



Effective Range: About 1 mile.



Payload: 16; eight per launcher



Medium-Range Missile Launchers




(2): These are the other



non-magical components of the offensive capabilities of the



vehicle. However, like the mini-missile launchers, TW missiles



make up the normal payload. *Note: These launchers



are totally capable of firing conventional missiles.



Primary Purpose: Anti-Vampire



Secondary Purpose: Anti-Personnel



Damage: Varies. Wood Fragmentation do 2D4 MD or 3D6x 10



HP to Vampires plus a 10% chance of impaling the heart of any



given Vamp in the radius. Water do 2D4xlO to Vampires. The



radius of both is about 30 ft.



Rate of Fire: can fire up to its entire payload in one volley



Effective Range: About 30 miles.



Payload: 12; six per launcher



Cab Railgun:




This devastating weapon fires wooden rounds



and is capable of mowing down vampires left and right.



Primary Purpose: Anti-Vampire



Secondary Purpose: Anti-Personnel



Damage: 1D4 MD or 2D4x 10 SDC to Vampires



Rate of Fire: Standard; can only fire bursts



Effective Range: 4000 ft



Payload: 30 bursts



Flare Launcher:




This seemingly simple feature is actually capable



of doing more damage to an army of vampires than any



other feature on the vehicle.



Primary Purpose: Anti-Vampire



Secondary Purpose: Emergency Signaling



Effect: Any kind of signal or illumination flare can be launched



skyward from this launcher. As a weapon, it can fire TW Call



Lightning flares, Thunderclap flares, or its most lethal ordinance...



Summon Storm flares! All do damage as per spell.



Rate of Fire: Once per melee



Range: 2000 ft straight up



Payload: One; takes one round to reload



Spotlights




(5): These high-powered spotlights have crosses



over them to do damage to Vampires. They are located two



in the front and three on the weapon turrets.



Primary Purpose: Anti-Vampire



Secondary Purpose: Illumination



Damage: 1 D4x 10 to Vampires



Rate of Fire: Standard



Range: 300ft.



Payload: Draw from PPE battery; Effectively Unlimited



Techno-Wizard features:



1. Armor of Ithan 2. Globe of Daylight



MDC: 500 Radius: 120ft



PPE to Activate: 50 PPE to Activate: 2



Duration: 40 melees Duration: 30 minutes



3. Invulnerability



Effect: Impervious to Energy, +10 save (see spell), and +35



MDC



PPE to Activate: 25



Duration: 10 melees



Missiles



By Jason Richards



All of the firing mechanisms on these missiles are nonmagic.



The warheads, however, are TW in design. This allows



them to be compatible with any missile launching system.



Missile Type: Water-Mini



Speed: 200 MPH



  • Damage: None / !D6xlO



Range/Radius: 1/2 mile /10 ft.



Cost: 2000 credits ea.



Missile Type: Water-Short



Speed: 300 MPH



  • Damage: None / !D6xlO



Range/Radius: 1 mile / 20 ft.



Cost: 2500 credits ea.



Missile Type: Water-Medium



Speed: 800 MPH



  • Damage: None / 2D4xlO



Range/Radius: 30 miles / 20 ft.



Cost: 3500 credits ea.



Missile Type: Water-Long



Speed: 1100 MPH



  • Damage: None / 2D6xlO



Range/Radius: 500 miles / 25 ft.



Cost: 4000 credits ea.



Missile Type: **Wood Fragmentation-Mini



Speed: 400 MPH



  • Damage: !D4xlO/2D4xlO



Range/Radius: 1/2 mile / 20 ft.



Cost: 3500 credits ea.



Missile Type: **Wood Fragmentation-Short



Speed: 500 MPH



  • Damage: 1 D4x 10 / 2D4x 10



Range/Radius: 2 miles / 20 ft.



Cost: 3800 credits ea.



Missile Type: **Wood Fragmentation-Medium



Speed: 1000 MPH



  • Damage: !D6xlO/2D6xlO



Range/Radius: 40 miles / 40 ft.



Cost: 4000 credits ea.



  • Damages are listed: Normal Damage / Damage to Vampires



    • Wood Fragmentation do only SDC damage. Each vampire



in the radius (unarmored) has a 10% chance of being impaled.



100



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Taylor, MI 48180



101



The Siege Against Tolkeen



Chapter 9



The man sat in a hard plastic chair, which was wet with a



strange, sticky stuff he prayed was merely water. He inserted a



large coin into a slot in the wall in front of him, causing a metal



plate to slide up. It exposed a window of thick bulletproof glass,



and showed the man what lay behind the wall.



Half a dozen strange, tentacled creatures writhed and gyrated



for his viewing pleasure, totally devoid of any clothing. They



pressed their bodies up to the glass, showing him their strange,



grey-green sexual organs. A piping, monotonous flute solo began



to play over cheap loudspeakers in the room.



"The human's back," one of the D-Bee women whispered to



the others, in a dialect of Dragonese.



"Weirdo," said one of the others in the same language, while



shaking her tentacles towards the window of a customer of her



species. The women were all aliens known as Gergelleg, and the



club tended to attract Gergelleg men. The only non-Gergellegs



who had ever come in were a couple of dwarves who had



thought that the place was a bar and promptly left, and the human,



who came in about once a month.



The human began to move his lips, but no sound came out.



He looked up at the women with a strange type of hunger and



hate.



They dance with the devil, he thought to himself. Satan



lives inside their hideous heads, and tells them what they want.



He tells them to destroy God's Chosen.



"You want some of this, honey?" one of the Gergellegs said,



writhing in front of the human's window. He stared at her, at her



hypnotic movements and rhythm, while the maddening flute



played in the background. Then, his time expired, and the metal



plate slid down.



The human walked out of the club and into the filth-ridden



streets outside, where a dirty rain was falling. He reached inside



a pocket of his baggy raincoat, and closed his hand around the



handle of a vibro-knife. Adjusting his hood and sunglasses, he



walked around into a side alley, and stood by the back entrance.



The door was locked, but the human easily pulled the flimsy



doorknob off.



/



must rid Earth of Satan, the man thought, as he stepped inside.



He yanked the shiv out of its holster, feeling it shake in his



hands.



This is my duty, he thought.



An oversexed Gergelleg male walked into the club about two



hours later. He took a moment of brush the rain off of his cloak,



and then sat down in one of the chairs. It was dark, so he didn't



notice the blood stains on the walls, or the shattered glass and



tiny gobbets of gray-green flesh on the floor. He merely inserted



his coin and watched the metal plate glide up, as he had done



dozens of times.



But inside, behind the wall, he saw a scene of horror previously



unimaginable to him. Blood lay in puddles on the floor,



and the dancers lay strewn about the room, in unidentifiable



chunks and pieces of flesh and bone. And the man found himself



unable to do anything but scream.



Hearing distant screams, Perrin strode among the ruins of



Chi-Town. Corpses of women and children were everywhere,



strewn over chunks or rubble, their poor bodies broken and shattered.



An eclipse devoured the sun, and billowing gray clouds of



mist absorbed all warmth. Perrin found himself trapped in a



cold, dark wasteland.



"Oh, God, please help us!" shrieked a familiar female voice.



Jack turned and saw his wife, alive again! She and Kerner and



all his friends from the old mechanized squad were there, but



something was not right. They were running. They were afraid.



"What is it, honey?" Perrin asked, sprinting towards his wife,



with something in his gut telling him that something was terribly



wrong and evil. Then, he saw them. Demons. There were



about sixteen of them, but it was hard to count them. Jack's



brain seemed to be filled with a strange mental static, making it



impossible to remember much or think much.



The hideous monsters swooped in on black wings of horrific,



rotting leather, hairy arms outstretched, claws dripping with



venom. Their faces were the worst of all, horrid parodies of human



faces, with blackened, rotting skin barely covering twisted



and gnarled skulls. Two of Perrin's fleeing friends were caught,



pulled up into the air, and pulled apart.



Dozens more of the monsters began swooping in, screaming



harsh, grating war-cries. They surrounded Perrin and his friends,



circling in the air, or walking towards them on the ground, leering



and laughing.



"Stay away!" screamed Perrin. But the monsters did not heed



his cry. They attacked, a mad horde of evil and magic. The air



was filled with their bestial screams of triumph as they tore



apart Jack's friends, claws rending flesh or pulling off limbs.



Strangely enough, none of them went after Perrin.



"Get the hell away from me!" howled Perrin, running back



and forth and gesturing madly at the demons, trying to chase



them away. This time, the creatures obliged him, leaping back



wards



away from him. They stared at him confidently, laughing



and screaming, as jack stared at his dying friends. He cradled his



disemboweled wife in his hands as the creatures began moving



in again to finish their grisly work.



Suddenly, the air was filled with lasers. The demons were



caught in beams of red laser and atomized, their molecules scat



tered



to the wind. Mini-missiles began bursting in the air, taking



out dozens of flying demons. And a horde of spindly, ebony



skeletons began to move in, eyes glowing red. Their toothy



mouths grinned with malicious pleasure as they attacked.



A grid of laser beams cut through the air, some of them finding



demons, some of them finding Perrin's friends, and some of



them finding nothing. Humans and demons alike were slain by



the gunfire. Elizabeth Perrin was knocked out of her husband's



arms by a rail gun burst.



"What are you doing?" yelped Perrin as the skeleton warriors



swooped over the demons, killing man and beast alike with



102



vibro-swords and laser pistols. Before Jack even knew what was



happening, he was the only one left. One of the skeleton raiders



knocked him to the ground, and held a humming vibro-knife to



his throat. The killer pulled off his helmet, to reveal the man beneath.



And Perrin found himself staring into his own maddened



eyes.



He woke up screaming, bathed in his own sweat.



Perrin realized that he was in a clean bed with sheets and a



fluffy pillow, instead of in the torture chamber he thought that



he would be in. His head was bound tightly with a bandage, and



a network of IV lines slowly pumped murky fluids into his right



forearm. His vision was much better, although he was still a little



dizzy.



A few men stood by his bedside. They were clearly not his



doctors, though. One of them was an extremely large man, over



seven feet in height, and as bulky as a football player. One of his



arms was bionic, and a handful of wires and plugs were interspersed



around his head, like a crown of thorns. He stood by the



door with a bulky particle beam rifle cradled in his arms.



Another was a slim, diminutive man with crazed eyes and a



shaved head. He wore a tight white T-shirt and baggy blue jeans



with a pair of shoulder holsters. "The guy's up," grunted the



skinhead.



"Yeah," agreed a third man, a slim, bespectacled fellow with



a wild mane of blond hair. This man had no weapon save for a



throwing knife holstered on his belt. He wore a suit and carried



a leather briefcase, and seemed like an oddity next to two headhunters.



Suddenly, a hand came up from the side to adjust the IV line.



Perrin turned his head and saw an elderly, balding man in a



white lab coat crouched at the bedside, using one hand to adjust



the tubing and another to hold a soda can. He interrupted his



work for a moment to take a drink.



"Did I say you could drink, you old fart!" thundered the skin



head,



kicking the soda out of the old man's hand. The punk



pulled out one of his holstered automatic pistols, and held it to



the doctor's forehead. "Next time you stop working on this guy,



I'm going to blow your brains out."



Perrin looked up at the other two men, hoping that they



would say or do something to stop the maniac. Instead, they



laughed. Perrin felt his blood boiling, and for a moment pondered



the irrational action of trying to grab the skinhead's other



gun.



"Where the hell am I?" asked Perrin, as the whimpering old



man got back to work. "Who are you guys?"



"We're members of the Human Freedom Association," explained



the man in glasses. "It's basically the local resistance



movement. We were VERY excited when we heard about



your...arrival in Tolkeen."



"Why?" asked Perrin, utterly bewildered.



"You're with the Coalition, of course! You can be our liaison



with them, tell us what Emperor Prosek wishes for us to do."



"You're out of luck, buddy. I don't even know how I can con



tact



those bozos anymore, let alone get orders from them."



The skinhead leaned over Jack, fury beginning to cloud the



young punk's face. "Wrong answer," he growled, his warm,



103



fetid breath crawling into Perriris nostrils. "Because if you can't



help us, then we've no reason to let you live."



The other two suddenly aimed their weapons at the thug.



"Back off, Tommy," said the large man, in a voice like glass be



ing



crushed. "Freedom's the only one who can make that decision,



and you know it." The skinhead realized that he was



outgunned, and grudgingly walked to the other side of the small



hospital room.



"Now, what about the burster?" asked Perrin. "He's the one



who saved me."



Chapter 10



Tucson crawled over to the open door, using one hand to pull



himself along, and the other to try to keep his intestines in place.



His clothing was covered in blood, both his own and that of the



Kittani doctor who had been chained up beside him. The doctor



they had shot in the head. Tucson wasn't quite so lucky. The



bastards bestowed a lingering death upon him.



"Damn skinheads," he muttered, his gaze fixed on the open



door, his mind swimming with pain and confusion. He could



hear sirens in the distance, although his ears were still ringing



with the harsh barks of the gun. He knew that soon the police



would come back, and would either put him on life support to



ensure an even slower death, or would put him out of his misery



instantly. The elf fancied neither choice. He wanted to die outside,



where at least he could breathe fresh air instead of the rank



prison odors.



"Almost there," he muttered, pulling himself to the door.



"Going to get out."



Suddenly, one of the crimson-suited military police burst in



through the open door. "Freeze, scumbag!" he screamed, holding



his techno-wizard laser pistol to Tucson's head.



Tucson looked up at the soldier. The man's face was muucn



behind a gas mask, his body was hidden behind a jumpsuit of



enchanted red cloth. In fact, he reminded the elf a little bit of the



grim reaper in a crimson cloak. The elf looked into the man's



face, and smiled eerily.



The soldier began convulsing, as the scent of pungent smoke



filled the corridor. He dropped his gun, and began flopping



around on the floor, screaming wildly. As his gas mask began to



melt, his suit began to gradually fade to black. As the flames



which burnt his body finally exploded out of the suit, his struggles



ceased. Tucson crawled over the burning corpse, in a mad



rush to get outside.



"Is the corridor cleared, Delta 4?" squawked the dead man's



melting headset. "Come in, Delta 4! Do you read me?"



Tucson finally pulled himself outside. It was night out, and



the stars in the sky were burning brightly. The elf smelled the



crisp, autumn night air. He then looked around, and was not sur



prised



in the least to see dozens of police cruisers parked all



around the prison, just outside of the rows of barbed wire. An



enormous combat helicopter hovered above the prison, its silenced



blades making a strange, throbbing noise.



The chopper suddenly began to move towards Tucson. It



flew right over him, then turned to face the dying elf and swiveled



its massive guns in his direction. Something which looked



very much like a chaingun let loose with a burst of mystical



hellfire, which wrapped itself around the elf, doing no damage.



Tucson looked up at the chopper wearily. The windows suddenly



lit up with a bright red light, and then shattered, as the



cockpit exploded. Vomiting gouts of inky black smoke and



showering sparks in every direction, the helicopter spiraled into



the ground, where it shattered and burnt into a husk.



Red-suited soldiers began to close in from the sides, having



slipped past the wire or come out of the prison to neutralize this



threat. Tucson realized that he didn't have much strength or time



left to him. But, he wanted to take a few more of those bastards



out with him.



"Kick a guy out of his home, will you?" grunted Tucson, as a



pair of incoming soldiers exploded from the inside. "Toss a guy



in jail for having his friend patched up, will you?" sneered Tucson



as a nearby police cruiser caught fire. "Try to kill an un



armed,



wounded guy, will you?" yelled Tucson, as a sniper's



gun melted, covering the sniper's arms with white-hot liquid



metal.



Tucson suddenly saw a little metal tube roll to his feet,



doubtless tossed there by a soldier hiding in the shadows. "Oh



no," sighed the elf, as his short but eventful life flashed before



his eyes. "I at least wanted to be buried."



The grenade exploded into a dimensional anomaly. A rift



more like a black hole than anything else came into being, enveloping



the elf and pulling him into a thousand directions at



once, atomizing him and spreading the molecules into a billion



different dimensions. When the soldiers arrived on the scene, all



that they found was a steaming crater and a round hole in the



wall.



"You...what?" growled Perrin, barely able to keep himself



from tearing the skinhead's throat out.



"We shot the guys in the cells adjacent to yours," the punk



explained, with a hint of pride in his voice. "They were all DBee



punks, and we didn't want them identifying us. My idea."



104



"One of those punks saved my life, you idiot!" yelled Perrin.



"He got caught by the cops because he was trying to save my



life! I oughta break your neck!"



The skinhead leaned over the bed, and sneered at Jack. "Shut



your mouth," he growled. "We saved you, and I think we deserve



a little respect because of it! Besides, why are you so



grateful? The guy was a D-Bee!"



"How in the hell was I supposed to know! I couldn't even see



straight!"



"Calm down, Lou," said the man wearing glasses. "Maybe he



does have a..."



"I saved this guy from a death sentence, and he's treating me



like crap!" interrupted the skinhead. "This guy isn't worth so



much trouble! I say we get rid of him!"



"That's for Freedom to decide," said the headhunter by the



door. "It's his choice, not yours."



"It's your life that we decide what to do with," snarled Perrin,



snatching the skinhead's throat and squeezing the windpipe.



Jack clutched it a little bit harder, liking the feel of the neck as it



constricted in his hands, liking the expression on the skinhead's



face as he gasped for air. The punk was trying to reach back for



his pistols, but a quick squeeze persuaded him not to.



"Now listen," Perrin said, sitting up so that he was right in



his victim's face. "I'm going to let you go now. But from now on



I will ask that you behave in a dignified manner. And if you



don't, then I will snap your scrawny neck in half. Got that?" And



Jack let go.



The skinhead immediately began gasping for air. Once his



lungs were again filled with oxygen and his head had stopped



spinning, he sneered down at Jack. "You bastard!" he screamed,



reaching for a gun. "I've had enough of your disrespect!"



As the skinhead pressed down on the trigger, a vibro-knife



shot across the room from the now-open door, knocking the pistol



from the punk's hand. The gun shattered, and the knife



imbedded in the wall behind. Rick Freedom walked in through



the open doorway, his M.O.M. implants twitching violently.



"What were you doing, Louis?" he barked, pulling his knife



out from the wall and turning it off. "It looked to me like you



were about to kill our new leader. Were you going to shoot the



man who is going to save humanity?"



"Sir, it was just an argument between Lou and..." interrupted



the man with glasses, trying to extinguish the fuse of an explosive



situation.



"I am talking to Lou," said Freedom calmly and politely. "I



want to find out what Louis has to say about this." Then, the facade



of politeness was dropped, and the Crazy began vibrating



with rage, droplets of spittle shooting out from his mouth.



"What in the hell were you doing, Louis?!" he screamed.



"The guy'd been consorting with D-Bees and nearly choked



me to death when I asked him about it!" protested Lou.



"A D-Bee burster saved my life, apparently," said Perrin. "I



thought that the guy was human. And then when baldy here



boasted that he had killed him, I understandably went berserk.



I'm still not sure that I should have let him live."



Freedom thought it over for a moment. "Mr. Perrin," he said.



"From now on, I hope that you will avoid associating with de



mons



of all sorts, as is your duty. I am sure that normally you



exercise superb judgement in the matter. And Louis, from now



on, you will respect authority. I am not going to discipline you



this time, but if such an incident ever happens again, well..."



With that, the Crazy took out his vibro-knife, and waved it un



der



Lou's nose. The skinhead promptly ran from the room.



"You are dismissed, good sir," said Freedom to the doctor,



who had been cowering in the corner during the entire argument.



"Remember, someday soon, Tolkeen shall be free. Have a



nice day, and remember not to discuss this with anyone." The



elderly man got to his feet, brushed himself off, and walked out



of the room.



The Crazy then knelt by Perrin's bed. "Dear Mr. Perrin," he



said, gazing straight into Jack's eyes. "I recognize you as one of



humanity's greatest champions. As such, you deserve leadership



of the Human Freedom Association, which I now grant to you,



sir."



Perrin was about to politely refuse. These weirdoes were beginning



to seriously scare him, and he didn't want to be the



leader of some strange terrorist group. But suddenly, he remembered



the pyramid which Tucson had shown him. The Council's



mega-weapon. The thing which was in such urgent need of destruction.



"I only hope that I can be as good a leader as you were, Mr.



Freedom," said Perrin, grinning like a cat.



Chapter 11



Donald Hartman, clad in his power armor, struck out at one



of the crumbling concrete golems attacking him, putting his fist



straight through the thing's chest. Feeling an strange lump in



side,



he clamped his fingers down upon it, and pulled the



strange chunk out of the golem. It turned out to be a beating



105



heart of stone and silver, vomiting blue-tinted energy out of its



valves. The golem crumbled, and Hartman crashed the heart



into dust.



The surviving members of the Black Dog squadron had been



attacked by a platoon of nearly 40 golems, although that number



had quickly been whittled away. The magical constructs were a



step up from the standard model, and boasted shoulder-mounted



net guns and vibro-blade forearms. Waves of such automated,



mindless foes had been attacking every day, trying to push the



Coalition's forces back, even as legions of Skelebots and mechanized



infantry strode inwards to penetrate deeper into the heart



of Tolkeen.



A member of the Black Dogs was snared in a magical net,



and surrounded by half a dozen golems who began hacking



away at him with their knives. "Help me!" he shrieked, as his



armor was stripped away from him slice by slice.



The golems suddenly melted into slag as a thick gout of



plasma flame wrapped around them. The magical net evaporated,



and the wounded SAMAS soldier rose to his feet, giving a



thumbs up to the trooper who had saved him.



The last few golems ganged up around Hartman, and tried to



hold him still to administer a beating. The leader of the Black



Dogs grinned, although his smile was hidden by the skull-like



faceplate. He reached into the chests of the two golems flanking



him, pulling out their hearts, and then melted the third's head



with a quick laser blast.



Suddenly, there was a crackling of magical energy, and over



200 of the golems appeared in the forest nearby. Several of them



trudged off to face the Black Dogs, but the others seemed to be



heading in a different direction.



"Firestorm I, we've got a whole lot of golems at coordinates



05-92-31," announced Hartman over his radio. "Think you



could swing a couple of bombers down this way?"



"They're on their way," replied a female voice. "Can you



hold your position for about 5 minutes, or do you need to fall



back."



"The majority aren't after us," said Hartman as he atomized



an antagonist with a plasma blast. "There are just a few who are



covering the main squad's flanks that we have to worry about.



Most of the golems are going to the southeast."



"Roger that. We've got a supply line there that's been under



fire for days. Looks like you boys have identified the latest at



tack.



Good job, and wait a few minutes for the fireworks."



The Black Dogs had already fallen upon the flankers, and



had destroyed most of them with a barrage of plasma. The few



survivors were blown to bits by fusion grenades just as the sleek



black bombers headed in from the skies.



Each of the warplanes dropped what seemed like a pellet, a



small black dot which was lost in the sun and smoke. The pellets



dropped below the canopy, into the ranks of the golems. There



was a brief moment of silence, and then a tremendous roar as



pillars of flame burst into existence, slowly widening until the



entire golem unit had been engulfed. The planes flew off to



bomb another target, their work here done.



"Now that," laughed one of the Black Dogs, "Was a damn



fine show. Sometimes I'm sorry that I'm a ground-pounder 'stead



of a bomber pilot."



"Speaking of that," said another pilot, sitting down on a



smoking golem corpse to pull out the heart, "Has anyone else



heard the rumor that we're going to be reassigned? I hear that



there are some bomber wings scheduled which need escorts, and



that the Black Dogs are the current favorite for the job."



"Sorta makes sense," replied Hartman. "After all, we're only



holding back the line here. Nothing that couldn't be done by a



good platoon of infantry and a few well-placed minefields. But



don't get your hopes up too high. Rumors go flying during a



war. Remember that one about the big super-weapon that everyone



thought the sorcerers had created?"



Perrin gazed apprehensively through a shattered window,



looking at the pyramid, his feverish mind full of thoughts of



what it might do. He was in the secret meeting place of the Human



Freedom Association, the back room of a sleazy beer hall.



The floor of the place was covered in litter and dust, and the few



tables lying around here and there were cracked and dirty.



The place was full of raucous street scum as well. Most



looked like city rat posers, dirty, numerous punks who tried to



get away with acting like headhunters. They congregated in the



corners, gossiping loudly with each other while drinking flat



beer and smoking cigarettes or reefers. One of them had hooked



an electric guitar up, and was playing a strange, trippy type of



music. His T-shirt under the thick leather overcoat he wore



boasted a skeleton playing a guitar over a tie-dyed background,



with the words "Grateful Dead" printed below.



There were a few true warriors around, but they looked to be



an undisciplined bunch. Men in bulky armor with large rifles sat



around at the tables, talking loudly and drinking or smoking.



There were a few guys who looked like Juicers as well. A jumpy



man with bags under his eyes and a bio-comp harness covering



his otherwise bare chest sat alone, polishing an ion pistol. A



large, very muscular man wearing Juicer armor was arm-



106



wrestling a partial conversion 'borg. And a tall, blonde woman



who just seemed to look like a typical Juicer was lifting 100



pound barbells with one hand.



Smoke and noise filled the barren room. The odor of beer and



tobacco and marijuana wafted through Perrin's nostrils. He



could see a cooler in one corner, which was filled with pill bottles,



six-packs, and thick, opaque plastic bags full of different



substances. "This is supposed to be my great army?" he muttered



under his breath.



"Warriors of the Human Freedom Association!" he then bellowed



at the top of his lungs. "I am your new leader, Jack Perrin.



And I come before you with an urgent mission!"



Nobody paid attention.



"I am your leader!" Perrin yelled, visibly upset. "I need your



cooperation!"



"Shut up," grunted the arm wrestling Juicer, as he pinned his



opponent's metal wrist to the table. "Nobody cares, moron."



"Why don't you shut your mouth?" snapped Perrin. "Rick



Freedom gave me this job, so you should show me the same respect



you showed him."



"You want respect from me, you pale little squishie?" asked



the Juicer softly. The noise level in the room suddenly dropped



to nothing, as the man got out of his chair. "Look, you punk, I



don't think you're very smart, so I'm going to let you walk out of



here. Get out of my sight, before I lose my self control."



"I am your leader, and demand to be treated as such."



"You're going to be treated as fist-scrape in a moment,



squish-boy!" laughed the Juicer. And with that, he swung one of



his massive fists right into Perrin's gut, with the force of a



sledgehammer.



Jack cried out in pain, and was thrown back several feet. As



he crawled to his feet, he could see the Juicer walking towards



him, a big grin on his face. "Oh look, a little bug," laughed the



man. "I do believe I'll squash it." With that, he raised one of his



sneaker-clad feet, and brought it down hard at Perrin's spine.



The foot never reached its target. Perrin had reached up and



caught the calf of the leg a mere moment before the blow would



have crippled him. Quickly, he shifted his grip down to the ankle,



getting a good firm hold. With his other hand, he latched



onto the foot and twisted until he felt something in the Juicer



break.



"Ow!" yelled the Juicer. "You broke my ankle! I'm going to



kill you cold for that, squish!"



"I don't think you'll be in any position to do that," growled



Perrin, as he pushed the Juicer down, and grabbed hold of the



other ankle. Before the Juicer could pull the foot away, Jack



snapped the bone, leaving the fallen warrior helpless to rise.



Perrin got up, and walked to the nearest table. He overturned



it, and yanked off one of its wooden legs.'"This is where the fun



begins, buddy," he laughed, walking over to the fallen Juicer.



Fifteen minutes later, Perrin threw down a cracked and



bloody table leg. "I am your leader!" he yelled to the horrified



rabble. "I demand respect and obedience!"



All of the members of the Human Freedom Association paid



very close attention, except for one who was in no condition to.



HIF



The Hammer



of the Forge



By James M.G. Cannon



Chapter 2



Surrounded by the Void



The seven rings that circle the great gas giant Garouk-9 are



mainly composed of particles of ice and rock. "Particles " is a



word that gives only the vaguest sense of the rings, though, as



the objects vary in size from the tiniest of pebbles to massive asteroids



several miles in diameter. Garouk-9 itself possesses no



native sentient life, though giant amoebae-like creatures known



as Tuscuns navigate through the chlorine rich atmosphere of the



planet, floating on wind currents and deriving sustenance from



the. clouds themselves. It is within the rings circling the globe



that a world-hopper will find the people of Garouk-9. The ices-



107



teroids and asteroids that circle the planet are rich in minerals,



particularly titanium, nickel, and durnium. Mining interests



from within the Juktos System maintain stations near Garouk-9,



and send agents into the rings to plunder their resources. A



number of independent prospectors have also made the rings



their home, and many derive a comfortable living from the or



bital



mines. Life here can be dangerous, however, because the



rings also provide excellent hiding places for smugglers and



marauders...



— excerpt from Travelogues of a Journeyman,



by Fraktyn Quint



A black and gray tub of steel slowly navigated its way



through the maze of twirling rock that served as the sixth ring of



Garouk-9. The ship bore no distinguishing markings, and to all



appearances seemed to be unremarkable save for a few blaster



burns across its dorsal surface. A casual observer would have



^assumed the ship to be just another prospecting vessel, most



likely one of the independent operators in the ring, unaffiliated



with Drasco Inc., Bhudrin, or any of the other mining conglom



erates.



A casual observer would be in error.



A thousand meters away from the ship, keeping a careful



watch on the vessel's progress, stood a single humanoid, perch



ing



upon a large icesteroid. The figure was physically impres



sive;



standing half again as tall as a human being, he was



sheathed in a skin tight suit of metallic green armor that reflected



brightly off the ice beneath his feet. Green eyes glittered



beneath a great helm molded to fit his wolfish face, and in his



claw-like hands he cradled a great battle-axe made of the same



peculiar metal as his armor. His name among humans was



Lothar, a close approximation of his birth name. He was a



Wolfen, one of those canine-like humanoids who had spread



throughout the Three Galaxies. More than that, however, Lothar



was a Knight of the Cosmic Forge.



He watched as the black and gray ship weaved through the



ring. The ship was shaped like a bird of prey, with wings outstretched



and large ion cannons mounted on the belly, where a



bird's talons might have been. Those cannons, Lothar knew, had



sent at least a dozen merchant vessels spinning into the void,



and the captain of that ship was a blackguard notorious throughout



the Juktos system and its closest neighbors. His name was



Elias Harkonnen, an elven pirate as adept with a blaster or a



blade as he was behind the controls of his starship, the



Raptor.



Harkonnen's raids caused the deaths of three thousand and



sixty-four sentients to date. Lothar had been unable to halt the



last attack, against a Titanian supply ship named



Regis, and the



Raptor




made its escape while Lothar surveyed the damage to the



Regis.




Using the esoteric skills of his order, Lothar was able to



trail the



Raptor through the trackless void of space to the Juktos



system, and the gas giant Garouk-9. The rings created a net of



cosmic "static" that fouled Lothar's enhanced senses, and he



lost the



Raptor within the maze of rock and ice. Two days of



careful searching and prudent use of his tracking ability had



eventually led him to the icesteroid upon which Lothar now



stood, observing the



Raptor as it approached one of the larger



asteroids, knotted and pitted by mines strung out decades ago,



that filled several cubic kilometers of space.



The



Raptor slowly drew closer to the asteroid, and Lothar



watched, unsurprised, as a doorway set within the rock of the asteroid



scissored open, and the marauder slipped within the stony



bosom of the asteroid.



Lothar nodded to himself, his suspicions confirmed. When he



had first lost the ship within the confines of the rings, Lothar assumed



that the pirates possessed some sort of hidden base inside



the circle of asteroids. He was slightly surprised at the size of



the facility, but its existence merely confirmed his suspicions.



Lothar stepped off the icesteroid and glided through space in



the direction of the hidden base, holding the axe out before him.



The same cosmic "static" that interfered with Lothar's ability to



track the starship through the rings obscured his own presence



in the void. He did not doubt that the pirate stronghold pos



sessed



a powerful sensor array, probably equipped to sniff out



CCW law-dogs and hunter ships, but entirely unsuited to separating



the debris from the ring apart from human or humanoid



figures hovering outside their front door.



In a matter of moments, Lothar crossed the distance to the



massive asteroid, ducking past an errant icesteroid that nearly



cleaved through his helm. Lothar was all too aware of the limitations



of the Cosmic Forge's blessings. His body was rendered



immune to even the intense heat of the stars, making him invul



nerable



to the common energy weapons most civilizations of the



Three Galaxies used for warfare and defense. But a bullet from



a grav rifle or rail gun could penetrate even the fabled armor of



the cosmo-knights, and an icesteroid that massed several thousand



kilos could squash him like a bug.



Lothar skimmed the surface of the huge asteroid concealing



the



Raptor and her crew. His unerring sense of direction guided



him to massive door incised into the asteroid's surface. Lothar



smiled to himself, forced to admire the ingenuity of the pirates.



Their hideaway was well concealed; even knowing where to



look and what to look for, Lothar found it difficult to locate the



edges of the door. The surface of the portal was plated with the



skin of the asteroid itself, while the perimeters were cunningly



hidden beneath the natural protuberances and projections of the



asteroid. When he finally located it, he measured its dimensions



with his eyes. The door stood twenty meters tall and twenty meters



wide, roughly square shaped, and was large enough to allow



entry or exit to two ships at a time, with millimeters to spare.



Lothar pressed one metal-skinned hand against the surface of



the door. Even through several centimeters of rock and the green



metal of his gauntlet, he felt the quiet hum of machinery. Again



he smiled to himself, and pulled back from the door. Taking his



double-bladed axe in a two handed grip, he summoned up the



cosmic fire within his breast and cut loose with a titanic blow,



splitting open the camouflaged exterior of the door and revealing



the dull metallic surface of the door itself. Lothar quickly



unleashed a second shattering attack, slicing through the metal



with an explosion of green sparks. He stepped back to admire



his handiwork, and, satisfied, extended the axe before him. A



flash of emerald energy flared from the head of the axe and connected



with the door, burning through the weakened section in a



heartbeat. Lothar brushed past it into the base, his eyes flashing



green beneath his helm, his axe held ready to attack.



Beyond the door lay a gigantic, airless, hollowed out pocket,



carved from the middle of the asteroid to provide the marauders



with a docking bay impossible to find through normal means.



Lothar was momentarily impressed with Harkonnen's ingenuity



and ambition, but he reasoned that it was more likely that the pi-



108



rate had stumbled across the hiding place than that he fashioned



it himself.



Three hundred meters inside the chamber, the



Raptor had attached



itself to the inner wall, connected by snaking umbilicals



and at least three airlock tunnels that extended from the asteroid



wall to fasten on to the



Raptor. Though the chamber held more



than enough space for a dozen ships, the only facilities Lothar



could discern were those servicing the



Raptor.



As Lothar surveyed the scene, two dull black metal spheres



detached from the walls of the chamber and glided through the



emptiness towards him. Lothar hefted his axe in his hands and



watched them come. He recognized their make, if not their type.



Naruni war-drones: automated machines better armored than



most starships, and packing enough firepower to level a small



moon.



Business must have been very good for Harkonnen. Naruni



weaponry was never cheap.



Several plates opened up on each of the drones, revealing the



plasma projectors, mini-missile launchers, grav guns, laser cannons,



and whatever else the Naruni techno-engineers could pack



into the spheres. Lothar grinned beneath his helm. He loved a



challenge.



As energy lanced towards him from the spheres, Lothar



dropped thirty meters and threw his axe at the drone to his left.



The axe ripped through the plates of the drone, tearing through



its ventral hemisphere and hopefully shredding something critical.



At the same time, Lothar summoned up the energy of the



Forge within him, and sent emerald beams of light from his eyes



to slam into the second drone.



The second drone exploded in a shower of fire, spectacularly



and silently, extinguished almost as soon as it erupted.



The axe boomeranged back to Lothar's hand. Simultaneously,



the first drone, damaged but still functioning, reoriented



its weapon systems, and launched a dozen missiles at Lothar.



Lothar ducked past the volley, and flew across the chamber to



wards



where the



Raptor clung to the side of the asteroid, venting



gases into space. He didn't need to check to know the missiles



followed.



The lead missiles reached Lothar just as he drew close to the



Raptor.




They slammed into him and detonated, sending him



tumbling through the void to smash against the



Raptor's hull.



Lothar grunted in surprise and pain, but his armor held. In another



moment, the rest of the volley exploded around him, and



Lothar instinctively curled up into a ball as the silent explosions



rocked him and the side of the



Raptor where he stood.



Smoke and debris hung in a cloud around Lothar, but his



green eyes pierced the haze and assessed the damage. His armor



was burnt and scarred by the attack, but the brunt of the damage



had been inflicted on the



Raptor. Lothar's gamble paid off; the



size of the



Raptor served to confuse the missiles and enabled



Lothar to escape a fiery and brutal death.



He could see the war-drone limp towards the



Raptor, trailing



smoke and lit up with warning lights. Its weapon systems homed



in on Lothar and prepared to fire. Lothar allowed himself a



brief, rueful grin. He had hoped Harkonnen would have pro



grammed



the drones not to fire upon the



Raptor, but it seemed



that the marauder either had not anticipated the possibility, or



was more ruthless than Lothar at first assumed.



Once more Lothar summoned up the fires of the Cosmic



Forge, and unleashed them in a devastating beam from his eyes.



The energy sliced through the drone, destroying it in an instant.



Lothar turned away and flew towards the airlocks that led into



the station proper. As he did, he noticed the



Raptor's running



lights suddenly ignited. Lothar drew to a halt, and again channeled



the fires of the Forge into a destructive beam that spiraled



towards the



Raptor's engines, and connected with a soundless



crunch.



The



Raptor would not be going anywhere for quite some



time.



However, Lothar's energy reserves were seriously depleted,



and he would not be able to summon up another energy blast of



such magnitude in the near future. If Harkonnen, by some miracle,



managed to get his ship underway, Lothar would be hard



pressed to stop him.



With two swipes of his axe, Lothar opened up one of the air



locks,



and surged into the base. Behind him, the automatic sys



tems



sealed the tear he had carved through the door, while



before him stretched a cargo hold stacked high with crates of



booty. The ceiling was ten meters overhead, though a catwalk



was bolted to the wall about halfway up it. Lothar spotted three



exits in his first glance, but had little time to explore further.



Three of the pirates stood five meters away; a trio of Naterreris



clad in patchwork suits of battle armor decorated with clan tat



toos.



They had popped open one of the crates, and two of them



were lugging out short, four-barreled rifles with heavy box



magazines situated in front of the triggers. The third pirate covered



them with his plasma rifle, full knowing that the weapon



was useless against the cosmo-knight. Lothar didn't recognize



the hardware the pirates had just produced, but he was certain he



didn't want to find out what they could do.



"Stand down and surrender," Lothar barked. "I am authorized



to use lethal force against you. Do not force me to kill you."



The shark-like aliens ignored him, and the duo with the



heavy weapons opened fire on Lothar. The weapons coughed,



and two volleys of micro-missiles blasted towards Lothar. The



Wolfen heaved his axe with a smooth snap of his shoulder, and



leapt into the air at the same moment. The micro-missiles hurtled



harmlessly beneath him, only to connect with the far wall of



the hold with a terrific boom that shook the entire room.



Lothar's axe decapitated one of the pirates as it passed them,



and the one with the plasma rifle dropped to the ground with a



scream. His one surviving companion reoriented his heavy rifle,



but was knocked off his feet by Lothar's eyebeams, weaker than



the ones he used on the drones, but more than enough to incapacitate



the pirate.



Lothar dropped to the ground beside the Naterreri who lay on



the floor, holding his head and shuddering in fear. Lothar



grabbed his shoulder in one hand and lifted the alien easily. The



axe flew back to his hand and Lothar caught it automatically.



His eyes glowed balefully from beneath his helm. "Where is



Harkonnen?" he demanded. The fish-eyes blinked vapidly in



Lothar's face. The poor fool was too frightened to talk. Lothar



threw him to the ground in disgust.



"Hello!" a voice from above called out. "Looking for me?"



Lothar stepped back and raised his head. Above him, standing



on the catwalk that circled the room, stood Elias Harkonnen.



The Elf was tall, angular, and thin, clad in a form-fitting, black



109



and red suit of Imperial Legionnaire's armor, with a crimson



skullcap on his head. A carefully trimmed black goatee hid his



sharp chin, and his eyes were an opaque white that seemed almost



to glow.



Lothar stood aghast.



"Surprised?" Elias asked rhetorically. "Didn't know I was in



the Legion, did you? Then I'll wager you're unaware that I



served with the Invincible Guard."



"That won't stop me from bringing you in, Harkonnen,"



Lothar growled. Privately, he was not so sure. The Transgalactic



Empire was a blight upon the Three Galaxies, an expansive and



vicious nation founded by a bloodthirsty race of beings known



as Kreeghor, and dedicated to the subjugation of all the sentients



in the galaxy. The Kreeghor had once served as slaves to the



masters of bio-wizardry, the Splugorth, and they had learned



enough secrets from their former masters to create soldiers of



frightening power and abilities. Dubbed the "Invincible Guardsmen,"



these superhumanly powerful warriors were the elite of



the Empire's vast armies. Supposedly, they were treated lavishly,



rewarded for their service with wealth and power unimaginable



in civilized space. There were deserters, of course, but



those who left the bosom of the Empire willingly often did so



because the Empire itself did not give them enough opportuni



ties



to exercise their martial prowess, and to satisfy their sadistic



appetites.



If Elias Harkonnen was one of those creatures, then Lothar



had to destroy him. Quickly and cleanly, if possible.



If possible.



"That is what the last of your kind said to me, before I



handed him his lungs." The Elf smiled, and brandished a small,



oblong object in his right hand. Lothar instinctively tensed, but



no attack came. "I recognize you, Lothar of Motherhome.



You're fairly well known in this sector of space. In fact, I've



been expecting you for some time now. What kept you?"



Lothar eyed Harkonnen carefully. What game was he play



ing?



Did the Elf hope to distract him with senseless chatter?



"I had to deal with a Manarr serial killer on Torshin," Lothar



said. He hefted the axe in his hands. "I'm afraid he took priority.



.. although now I'm beginning to think I should have taken care



of you first."



"I think so, too," Harkonnen laughed. He brandished the oblong



object in his hand again. "Normally, I would stay and kill



you personally, but to tell you the truth, I've had something of a



bad day. So, I'm going to leave early." He pressed a button on



the device, and the lights in the cargo hold immediately



dimmed.



"Self-destruct activated," a mechanical voice droned from a



hidden PA system. "Seven minutes until detonation." The voice



then began to count down the minutes, one second at a time.



Lothar ignored it, and took a step forward. "Seven minutes is



more than enough time for me to deal with you," he said, taking



the axe in both hands.



Elias shrugged. "Perhaps. You seem able enough; and we



both know the detonation of the nuclear core of this station



won't harm you in the least bit. And I'll survive as well. But as



for my men. . . they do not share our gifts. And you Knights of



the Forge prefer to capture criminals alive, do you not? Particularly



when in CCW space?"



Lothar tightened his grip on his axe. He desperately wanted



to wipe the smug grin off the Elf s face. But he knew Harkonnen



was right. Lothar couldn't stand by and let the pirates die



needlessly; death in battle was one thing, but they needed to



stand trial for their crimes in a CCW court. To just let them perish



would be a violation of CCW law, and his own code.



"Where are they?" Lothar demanded through gritted teeth.



Elias laughed again, and juggled the self-destruct device in



one hand as the countdown continued. "Most of them fled to the



ship when you destroyed the drones. Those three fools at your



feet stayed behind, knowing you would cripple the ship."



Lothar nodded. "We'll meet again, Harkonnen," he said.



"Oh, I'm sure we will," the Elf laughed. "I'm sure we will."



Lothar turned to the two surviving Naterreri and sent the axe



away, to that hidden place between the dimensions where it



would remain until he needed it again. Lothar dragged the conscious



Naterreri to his feet. "Grab your friend. We're getting on



the ship before this place goes up." The pirate looked at Lothar



blankly for a moment, but then lurched to where his companion



lay, his armor scorched and blasted. With a grunt, the Naterreri



lifted his ally, and followed Lothar to the airlock door.



The airlock cycled open, and the two pirates stumbled



through to the door towards the ship. Lothar spared a glance in



the direction of the catwalk, but Harkonnen had disappeared.



Lothar almost went after the elf; his anger at being outmaneu



vered,



combined with his zeal for justice, nearly made him



abandon the pirate crew to oblivion. But Lothar mastered himself,



and followed the shark-faced humanoids onto the



Raptor.



As the opposite side of the airlock slid open, an energy blast



flashed into the compartment. Lothar brushed past the Naterreris



and deflected the beam with his fist, and then exploded through



the airlock door to bodyslam the pirate who had fired upon



them. The attacker crashed to the ground with a groan.



Lothar ignored him and the other pirates, and immediately



rushed to the bridge. More guns greeted him there, but Lothar



could tell that the pirates, normally ruthless and remorseless



men, were frightened. Frightened of the impending destruction,



and frightened of the snarling cosmo-knight in their midst.



"Put your weapons away," Lothar barked. A few nervous pirates



complied with the demand, almost certainly surprising



themselves, but a large, cybernetically enhanced human kept



his grav gun trained on Lothar's head. "We have very little



time," Lothar continued, eyeing each of the men in turn. "Less



than four minutes by my calculation. Now, you can cooperate,



and live, or you can be stupid, and die."



Lothar counted to ten, rapidly losing patience. He was about



to explain the situation one more time when the cyborg pulled



the trigger on his pistol. The gravitonically propelled projectile



whined through the air, and slammed into Lothar's shoulder



with a crack. Lothar grunted, pushed back a few inches, and his



eyes flashed once. The cyborg flew backwards, knocked off his



feet by the blast of emerald energy that fried his chest.



The other pirates stood motionless. A few covered Lothar



with their weapons, while those who had bolstered them a moment



ago seemed about to draw them again.



"Getting closer to three minutes," Lothar said.



"What do you want us to do?" a Catyr asked. She was tall,



red skinned and copper haired, and she looked like the type of



110



person willing to jettison her own mother for a few credits.



"You tracked up the engines, and now we don't have enough



thrust to get off this ball of rock."



"Disengage from the wall," Lothar ordered. "Fire up the ma



neuvering



jets. Get the ship in position to head through the gate,



and get that opened. Position the ship perfectly. Directly before



the gate."



"What are you going to do?" the Catyr asked.



"I'm going outside. I'm going to push you all to safety."



There were cries of incredulity, as well as a few curses lobbed in



Lothar's direction, but he ignored them all and left the bridge,



moving quickly through the ship to the airlock door. On the



way, he felt the ship lurch beneath his feet as the



Raptor separated



from the base. Lothar stepped over the body in the middle



of the corridor, and opened the inner door of the airlock. He



jumped into the airlock and opened the outer door almost before



the inner door cycled closed. A heartbeat later, Lothar stepped



out into the void once more, into the empty silence.



Lothar flew up onto the dorsal side of the



Raptor, and landed



lightly on the hull. Beneath him, the pirates brought the maneuvering



jets to life, and the



Raptor began to come about. Slowly.



Lothar frowned beneath his helm. Time was rapidly running



out; he had spent most of the seven minutes dealing with the



ship's crew. Harkonnen had most likely already made good his



escape. But Lothar still needed to push the 270 metric ton ship



through 300 meters of airless space to reach the portal that led



out of the station.



Lothar uttered a silent prayer. He would need the strength of



the Forge itself to move get the ship away before the station



detonated.



He had a plan. It was a desperate one, but this situation called



for such measures. Normally, Lothar could summon up the fire



of the Forge within him to create a number of effects. With the



power of the Forge, he could augment the energy beams he produced,



enabling them to damage even starships. This he had already



done, three times in the past fifteen minutes, depleting his



reserves. But he could also use that energy to supercharge his



flight ability, enabling him to reach FTL speeds in the vastness



of the void. Lothar's energy bank still possessed enough power



to get him free and clear, but he wasn't about to desert the fools



on the



Raptor now.



He might be able, for a few seconds at least, to extend his



FTL ability to encompass the



Raptor. Just long enough to get



the ship through the doorway and out of immediate danger.



Lothar wasn't certain his plan was entirely possible, but he



knew if it worked it would be extremely painful. Having expended



so much energy on the drones and the ship's engines, he



didn't have enough left to move the ship. But in extreme circumstances,



a cosmo-knight could convert his own flesh and



blood into energy to supplement cosmic power of the Forge that



resided within him. In essence, Lothar could cannibalize his



own body to provide the power he needed to move the ship.



But it would cost him. The pain would be excruciating.



Better get started. The ship was almost aligned perfectly.



Lothar knelt on the ship, and placed his palms flat against the



cold metal. He closed his eyes and summoned up the energy that



flared at the core of his being. As the power flooded through



him, and out through his hands to crackle across the hull of the



Raptor,




Lothar dug deep, dredging the energy up through him,



spending it all hastily and messily. When he reached the bottom



of his reserves, he went deeper, transforming his own mass into



light.



The energy flashed from his palms in a great emerald web



that spread, meter by meter, across the surface of the



Raptor.



The web flashed and crackled silently, enveloping the ship.



Lothar screamed silently, a howl of rage and pain, as his body



bled out of him, fingers of light that swallowed up the 270 metric



ton block of metal and ceramics beneath him.



At last, the web of energy caressed the entirety of the vessel,



and it lurched forward, compelled by Lothar's will. At the same



moment, the countdown inside the station approached its nadir,



and deep within the bowels of the hideaway, its nuclear reactor



reached critical mass. A moment later, the reactor detonated, exploding



in a wave of destructive energy that consumed the asteroid



in seconds.



The



Raptor rode the wave, guided by the cosmo-knight who



stood upon its hull. As it was, the



Raptor was nearly shredded to



pieces, managing to maintain its integrity by the barest of margins.



The explosion, and the debris from the explosion, shattered



the wings of the ship, and tore nearly a dozen holes in the hull.



Lothar was almost knocked from his perch, but he held his post



through sheer determination.



When the excitement was over, and the asteroid was nothing



more than powder, the



Raptor was left spinning lazily in the



void, quiet and dark, its running lights dimmed. Lothar lay



spread-eagled upon the surface of the ship, barely conscious. He



had converted nearly half of his mass into the energy needed to



carry the



Raptor seven hundred meters to safety. He was emaciated,



almost skeletal, and his normally skintight armor hung



upon his body like robes.



Lothar slowly dragged himself to his feet. In a little while,



the energy within him would replenish itself, his body would



heal, and he could leave the



Raptor here to wait until the



authorities arrived.



"Lothar"



Lothar started, surprised at the voice that sounded within his



mind. He recognized the lilting growl of the Cosmic Forge, but



the Forge only rarely spoke to its knights.



"



What would you have of me? "' Lothar thought, answering



the Forge's call.



"We have need of your services again, Son of Motherhome.



We have created a new knight, a human from the planet Earth.



He lacks direction, and needs help understanding his new role



and the Three Galaxies. You will provide that direction "



Lothar stifled a sigh. Another child knight to train.



"But,



what of Harkonnen? 1 cannot let him simply escape. He must be



brought to justice."



"Patience, my child. Proceed to the desert world of Koola in



the Haring System" the Forge ordered.



"Seek out Caleb Vulcan.



Teach him the ways of the Forge. You will face Harkonnen in



due time."



Lothar felt the Forge recede from his mind, and he slumped



to the hull of the ship. It seemed his destiny did not lie with



Harkonnen after all. Then again, Harkonnen's capture might be



more expediently accomplished with two knights following his



trail.



111



Aliens Unlimited



1



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Skraypers™




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TMNT®



& More Strangeness, 2nd Edition



Delphineous' Guide to the Megaverse®



The Galaxy Guide




(ties to Aliens Unlimited"*)

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