Monday, April 20, 2015

Rifts Setting to be Published Under License by a (as of now) Unannounced Third Party and a Different Game Engine

On thing I've wanted for a long time is to see the Rifts setting detached from it's Palladium RPG Engine. The system is a mess (IMHO) but the setting itself has a lot going for it. Now, Kevin is letting someone else play with his baby. Huzzah!
Rifts® is heating up 
There has been a flurry of interest in Rifts® by third parties these past few months. Nothing big like a Walt Disney movie yet (waaahh, are they ever going to make a Rifts® movie?!), but a few things we think you’ll find fun and exciting. 
Something new and exciting. In an effort to truly expand Rifts® across the Megaverse®, in cooperation with Palladium Books, another role-playing game company is currently adapting the Rifts® Earth setting to that company’s RPG system of rules, as well as producing adventure sourcebooks. This is only the second time in Palladium’s history that an outside company will create new game material under a different set of rules. 
Rumor Squashing: No, Palladium is NOT going to stop publishing Rifts®, nor change to a completely different set of rules. Far from it. In fact, Palladium expects to release six new Rifts® titles in 2015 and 98% of all Rifts® titles are in stock and available for purchase right now! The idea is that by offering Rifts® via another game company’s set of popular rules it creates a parallel dimension of gaming enjoyment. An expanding Megaverse®, if you will. This is a bit of an experiment, but we are excited to see how it all unfolds. 
A few steps toward Rifts® comic books? First, there is Imaginos Plus #1 created by Palladium artist and pal, Mark Dudley. It is a full color, 32 page, anthology comic book that features four 8 page “teasers” for different comic book titles created by Dudley and the Imaginos crew — including Rifts®: The Adventures of Young Erin Tarn™. I was impressed by the work in Imaginos Plus #1 and the Erin Tarn story is just a glimpse at a potential 12 issue comic book series. All 12 issues are completely plotted out and the first six issues are completely scripted. By the way, Imaginos Plus #1 is available from Palladium Books for $3.99 plus shipping. 
Second, Palladium Books has recently agreed to a one-shot deal with a notable independent comic book company to publish Ramon K. Perez’s Rifts® Machinations of Doom as a full color graphic novel. If the graphic novel does well . . . who knows what might follow? 
I apologize that I cannot reveal who these partners are or when you can expect their products, at least not yet. These other companies will make the big, full announcements when they are ready; probably sometime over the next 4-10 months. When they do, I’ll be sure to let you know and provide more details.
So, who is the mysterious company? What is the system that's going to be used?

Here's my guesses and non-guesses:

- It's not D20 OGL, D6 OGL, FATE, Traveller, Legend or any other "open license" system. See all those "®" above? Kevin does not like open. Kevin is serious about his trademarks.

- I doubt it is MWP and any flavor of Cortex. They license media properties, not other RPGs.

- HERO? I don't see it and it's not known for licensing properties (even if it did license back Champions.)

- GURPS? Probably the most likely of the bunch. SJG has licensed everything from Conan, The Horseclans, Discworld, Vampire the Masquerade, Werewolf, Traveler, Prime Directive and others I'm sure I've missed. Yep, SJG does conversions. The thing they haven't done much of recently is GURPS in print. I'm surprised they haven't found a POD provider to fill that gap for them and keep all of their products in print.

Savage Worlds? It's a possibility. Pinnacle has done licensed products (Solomon Kane comes directly to mind.)

It will be interesting to find out who got the license.

Big Purple has a discussion thread here.

You can read the announcement on the Palladium site here.


  1. My guess is Savage Worlds. It seems like it would be a pretty easy adaptation.

  2. My way shot in the dark guess would be Modiphius. They've been doing games from other companies lately like Mutant Chronicles and a few others. Plus Rifts would fit well with the flashy art style they seem to like.

    As for the comic I would say Dark Horse. They live and breath off the properties of other companies.

  3. Here's hoping that it's Green Ronin.

  4. I suspect that it will be Green Ronin. They are rolling out the AGE system in a big way this year, with the basic rulebook, Will Wheaton's campaign setting, and Blue Rose. Why not take a swipe at crazy cyberpunk-fantasy? I think that they are going to really and truly let go of True20 and make AGE into their new generic system. With a few high-profile releases and a couple of generic rulebooks, they could go a long way to making AGE popular in a way that True20, sadly, never was.

  5. Wow all i can say is wow! Never thought I would see the day. Now that said 4-10 months in Kevin/Palladium time is somewhere between 14 months and the end of the universe. I do enjoy Palladium games, but Kev's micromanaging/false promises make me weary. But, here's looking to best. Oh, I could totally dig on some Savage Worlds Rifts. I guess we'll all have to see :)

  6. "The system is a mess" is incorrect; it's the layout and editing that is bad, the system is about a step better than any version of D&D.

    But I have never cared about Rifts.

  7. Really hoping it isn't Savage Worlds. Really REALLY hoping.

  8. The combat system in Palladium is awful. Any reiteration of the rules is a step up.

  9. I should chime in that Steve Jackson and Kevin Siembieda have always gotten on well. However, anything GURPS-related now moves through SJG slowly, and I'm sure the new version of GURPS Discworld is top priority for its print books. I'd buy GURPS Rifts myself. I support my favorite system and encourage a good world creator to stop using his broken one.

    GURPS or Savage Worlds are the most likely of the bunch. Both have the capacity to handle all the extra crunchy bits easily. They'd both be good games, though wildly different from each other.

  10. It'd be very cool if it ended up being Stars Without Number.

    Hey, a gamer can dream.

    I don't dislike Savage Worlds but I don't have any desire to play it either. However their books are usually system-agnostic enough and well enough produced that I like to get them anyway.

    GURPS would be great too, though I never made the jump from 3rd to 4th edition.

  11. I really hope it isn't GURPS or Hero. It's not that I don't like those systems (I'm running Hero from the 5th edition Valdorian setting one a month starting this past Sunday) but Rifts really is about the classes in a way a point build would mess up.

    Savage Worlds might do okay as they can channel the weirdness through the powers system in a way that would be more artificial in GUPS, Hero, or EABA.

    Now a Rolemaster/Spacemaster Rifts...I could get into that.

  12. I dunno, I think Rifts could do without the class system it was so stuck in. It's hard to say what system or company it could really be, honestly. It would be neat if some company took and streamlined and improved the Megaversal System (and maybe even making a generic core rule for tools in using it) instead of killing it altogether would be neat, but going by the "different rules" bit that's most likely out the window.

  13. "Oh, I could totally dig on some Savage Worlds Rifts."

    Good to know.


    1. I guess we can take this as a non-announcement announcement ;)

  14. I actually know for a fact which system it is. I'm friends with a Palladium writer.
    I'm going to respect his confidence though and keep it to myself. ;)

    I'll just say this: it's a good choice.

  15. ...oh, and I forgot to mention... Fate Core for RIFTS is something I've considered doing.


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