Ley line walkers are non-traditional magicians, able to see leylines and magical energy from devices, people and spells.
Stunt: Sense Magic
Leyline walkers have an always-on ability to sense and identify magic, technomagic, leylines and rifts within line-of sight for magic and within ten miles for rifts and leylines.
Stunt: Ley Line Manipulation
The Ley Line Walker can use their power to manipulate and use ley-lines that they are standing on or near. Spending a Fate point they can…
Stunt: Spells x3
Ley Line Walkers start with 9 spells from levels 1-4.
Ley Line Rifters replace the forcefield sub ability with the ability to hitchhike on any teleportation or dimensional rifting teleportation ability by spending a Fate point.
Unless I run a game I don’t think I’ll bother converting more, I think I’ve shown that this would work – very well – for running RIFTS in a faster, looser, fashion.
Elemental Fusionists combine opposing elements (Earth/Air or Fire/Water) into a form of natural magic that infuses their bodies with elemental energy and makes them a force to be reckoned with.
Stunt: Elemental Power
Elemental Fusionists gain +2 to resist any attacks relating to their elements and their infusion of elemental energy gives them an additional point of Physical Stress.
Stunt: Elemental Magic
Elemental Fusionists gain an elemental power from their elemental mix and in addition can choose one spell from their appropriate spell list. Additional spells can be bought from those lists later on as individual stunts.
Breathe Without Air, Chameleon, Change Wind Direction, Create Light, Create Mild Wind, Dig, Distant Voices, Electric Arc, Dust Storm, Identify Minerals, Identify Plants, Mend Stone, Sand Storm, Stop Wind, Thunder Clap, Throwing Stones, Travel Through Walls, Walk the Wind.
Blinding Flash, Breathe Underwater, Cloud of Ash, Cloud of Steam, Dowsing, Float on Water, Fog of Fear, Frostblade, Extinguish Fire, Fiery Touch, Fire Bolt, Globe of Daylight, Impervious to Fire, Nightvision, Resist Cold, Sense Direction Underwater, Spontaneous Combustion, Walk the Waves.
Stunt: Elemental Knowledge
Elemental Fusionists can speak to, identify and sense elementals.
Stunt: Elemental Embodiment
Fire/Water Elemental Fusionists gain +1 on any swimming rolls and pick five elemental powers from the following:
Flame Coat: +1 Armour (set on fire), attackers attack at -1 in close combat due to the effect of the flames.
Fire Flood: Unleashes a wave of liquid fire for +1 Mega-damage.
Firestorm: A fire bolt is called from the sky for +1 Mega-damage.
Fire & Water Lungs: Can breathe normally in smoke, ash, fire and water.
Fire Water: Can turn water into alcohol or an elixer that provides +1 to resist cold effects.
Fire/Water field: Surrounded by an energy barrier for +1 Armour (Elemental fusionists normally only wear light armour).
Hot Ice: Trn ice into hot embers.
Liquid Fire: Spilled water can be used to create a flaming barrier that does +1 damage to anyone passing through it.
Spit Fire: The Fusionist can spit gobs of fire for +0 Mega-Damage.
Steam Bath: Creates a soothing cloud of steam and heat that cleans surfaces and people, negating contact poisons or acids.
Steam blast: +2 damage cloud of steam.
Steam bolt: +1 mega-damage, +1 to attacks. This broad blast of steam is hard to avoid.
Superheat Water: Boils within five seconds.
Earth/Air Elemental Fusionists gain Iron Hide, Alter Earth and four other powers from below.
Alter Earth: Changes the consistency of dirt, packing it lose or aerating it.
Air Hammer: +2 Mega-damage, a blast of air that can cut rock and dirt and shape it to the caster’s will.
Clattering Tree: A tree is animated by the wind into a horrifying, groaning spectre, +0 attack versus mental stress.
Floating Earth: the caster can fly on a chunk of levitating dirt or rock at 20mph.
Earth Feed: You can feed from the air and soil and can sustain another person.
Earth Lungs: You can breathe under the dirt or rock without issue.
Column of Air & Debris: You can create a miniature tornado that does +0 damage each turn people are within it.
Dust Blast: Wind blown grit and dust can be hurled into an opponent giving them the ‘blinded’ negative aspect.
Hurl Earth Objects: You can hurl any item made of earth elements with great force, like a bullet. The thrown weapon does +1 extra damage and is considered to do mega-damage.
Hurl Tree Limb: As above.
Iron Hide: +1 natural armour.
Rock Wind: You can lift +3 damage worth of rocks into the air and hurl them at your enemies (mega damage). You can split this damage up into separate attacks if you wish.
Shifting Ground: Creates a negative aspect ‘Uneven ground’ for the enemy for a scene.
Wind Lift: Powerful air can lift and hurl objects as big as cars around. When they crash they take/inflict +2 mega-damage.
Body Fixers are broadly experienced medical practitioners with enormous field experience that they can bring to bear on the huge and bewildering variety of medical issues that present themselves on the chaotic post-Rifts world.
Stunt: D-Bee Familiarity
Dealing with alien physiologies etc causes no penalty for a Body Fixer when healing or otherwise treating such a creature.
Body Fixers gain a +2 bonus to diagnose and treat diseases, poisons and even supernatural ailments such as possession.
Body fixers get a third, free stunt of their choice.
City Rats can choose their stunts freely, based around their lives as survivors on the lowest rungs of the Coalition (or similar) cities.
Cyber Docs find, install and maintain people’s cybernetic implants.
Cyber-Docs gain a +2 bonus to repair, install and fix cyborg implants.
Stunt: Black Market Contacts
Cyberdocs have a +2 bonus to find, purchase, sell or fence cybernetic implants.
Cyber Docs have an extra, free stunt.
Similar to a Cyber Doc in many regards, the Operator’s concerns relate to machines – and parts.
Stunt: Machine Zen
Operators have a +2 bonus to repair, jury rig or modify machinery.
Stunt: Black Market Contacts
Operators have a +2 bonus to find, purchase, sell or fence mechanical parts.
Operators have an extra, free stunt.
Wandering explorers and teachers, Rogue Scholars unearth the truth of the past and chase rumours, myths and legends for truth.
Stunt: Gift of the Gab
Rogue Scholars are excellent yarn-spinners and teachers, gaining a +2 bonus to all such activities.
Stunt: Artefact Hunter
+2 bonus to chase down rumours or to remember where certain artefacts and information are purported to be stored.
Stunt: Artefact Master
+2 bonus to identify, authenticate, restore and repair artefacts, papers, scrolls, devices and other bygone material.
An explorer, researchers and savant, the Rogue Scientist seeks to understand the present, rather than to explore the past. They seek solutions to create a brighter future for all mankind.
The Rogue Scientist gains a +2 bonus to interact with and understand any scientific or pseudo-scientific device or data.
You may spend a FATE point to get a clue from the Games Master in response to a specific question. If they refuse, you gain a FATE point (once per scene).
Stunt: Black Market Contacts
Rogue Scientists +2 bonus to find, purchase, sell or fence scientific devices or materials.
Drifters and refugees who have stayed on the road, Vagabonds have been far and seen a great deal. Hard knocks has been their university.
Spend a FATE point for the Games Master to give you a basic rundown on the personality and trustworthiness of a person.
Vagabonds get two free stunts.
Away from the fortress cities, life in the wilds is often short and survival is a moment-to-moment necessity rather than an occasional curiosity. Wilderness Scouts not only survive, they thrive.
Stunt: Cross Country
The Wilderness Scout gains a +2 bonus to move or sneak through wilderness terrain along with anyone else in their party/unit.
The Wilderness Scout gets two more free stunts.
Juicers hyper-accelerate their bodies with powerful drugs. None live more than six years beyond the commencement of their use of the drug.
Stunt: Drugged Physique
Juicers are hyped up and on edge constantly thanks to the drugs pumping through their system. They get a free +1 to any feats of strength, endurance, reflexes or dexterity.
Juicers can endure a huge amount of pain and physical trauma. They gain an extra point of Physical Stress and a second minor consequence.
Juicers automatically heal their worst consequence after every scene.
Juicers start flexplate (+1 Armour), JA-11 energy rifle, energy pistol and vibro knife.
Mercenaries are ubiquitous across RIFTS earth, hired guns and blades can be found anywhere and everywhere but the exceptional ones can make a real mark.
Mercs are a generic character type and can combine almost any sort of abilities in new combinations. They have three stunts of the player’s choice and Refresh of 3.
Robot Pilots are heavy weapons experts who specialise in power armour and giant robots.
Robot Pilots can choose one stunt alongside either Power Armour or Giant Robot synergy.
While piloting whichever type of suit they specialise in, the character gains a +1 bonus to all actions within that suit. This is less powerful but more versatile than Glitter Boys.
Power Armour and giant robots are serious pieces of hardware. Having this stunt grants initial access and guaranteed swift access to such a suit.
Power armour: NG-Samson.
Giant Robot: Titan
Stunt: Partial Cyborgisation I
Armour +1, natural, one extra physical stress.
Stunt: Partial Cyborgisation II
Cyborg power bonus +1 to any strength based rolls. Cyborg speed bonus +1 to any speed or agility based rolls.
Stunt: Partial Cyborgisation III
Pick three additional aspects relating to additional cybernetic implants placed in your body.
Headhunters start with LEB1 Light Espionage Armour +2 protection and the other materials found in their character description.
Glittering suits of armour and the heroic pilots who are synonymous with them, Glitter Boys don their armour in a way nobody else can – though others can indeed pilot the suits. Fighting the good fight for money, reputation or because its the right thing to do, their shining armour stands as a beacon in the darkness.
Stunt: As One Machine
Only when piloting Glitter Boy armour, the Glitter Boy gains a universal +1 to all actions while in that suit.
Stunt: Glitter Boy Armour
You start with a free, full suit of Glitter Boy armour, fresh off the production line, broken out of storage or passed father to son.
Stunt: Free Stunt
Pick or create your own additional stunts to customise your character.
Glitter Boy Armour
Slow and plodding
Armour: 3 (5 versus energy weapons)
Physical Stress: OOOO
(Use character skills otherwise)
Boom Gun: 1,000 round capacity, 1 shot per turn, +5 damage, mega-damage.
NB: Most vehicle scale weapons do not have the mega-damage trait, they’re simply powerful and large enough to damage large structures anyway. The Boom Gun as a signature weapon, and given the relatively small size of Glitter Boy armour, does to mega-damage, meaning it ignores target scale bonuses to armour.
Stunt: Inner Strength
Cyber-Knights can spend FATE to summon a Psi-Sword (+2, Mega-Damage) and/or a Psi-Shield (+2 Armour) out of pure psionic energy.
Inner Strength can be augmented with more stunts later on, which can be used to do the following:
Stunt: Inner Spirit
Cyber-Knights start with three basic psionic powers from the following list: Alter Aura, Empathy, Mind Block, Object Read, Resist Fatigue, See the Invisible, Sense Evil, Sense Magic, Sixth Sense, Speed Reading, Summon Inner Strength, Total Recall. Additional Psi-Powers are each considered a stunt.
Cyber-Armour is bonded plating and is innate to the Cyber-Knight. It grants them +1 Armour and an extra point of Physical Stress. Buying a second stunt in this upgrades the Cyber-Armour to Living Armour, upgrading it to +2 and another point of Physical Stress.
I’m not including any details as those can be found in the RIFTS book and I don’t want to tread on anyone’s rights or anything here, or to remove the need for the actual books.
Crazies in a FATE version of RIFTS would have the following traits:
Stunt: Superhuman Physique
Crazies have enhanced bodies, giving them superhuman Strength and Endurance. In any test involving strength or endurance they get a +1 bonus.
Stunt: Superhuman Speed
Crazies have augmented reflexes and agility. In any test involving speed or agility they get a +1 bonus.
Stunt: Enhanced Senses
Crazies have enhanced, twitchy, senses and gain a +2 bonus when rolling on those senses.
Crazies remove their least bad consequence each scene, along with their physical stress.
Crazies can choose three minor psionic powers from Sensitive or physical lists (excluding Astral Projection, Ectoplasm, Object Read and Telekinesis). Technically each spell operates as a Stunt, but this is considered a single Stunt. Additional powers later on are considered individual stunts when purchased.
Crazies start with a negative aspect relating to an insanity and whenever they buy a new Stunt or increase their Refresh they must take another (maximum 8 insanities from this cause).
RIFTs frustrates the living hell out of me as a gamer. We struggled with the Palladium system even when we were tweens and teens with whole days to spend gaming. It makes little to no sense, Megadamage is an irritating bodge and the whole thing hangs together purely on goodwill and tenacity. I’d go so far as to say Palladium games are some of the only ones that would have actually benefited from conversion to d20 and its odd that it wasn’t. That so many people hobble on with a crippled game system is one of the great mysteries of roleplaying.
Still, the hodgepodge kitchen-sink background is cool, very cool, and it has a great look, feel and post-apocalyptic chic. So what the hell else would work?
A while back I wrote a FATE setting book for Pacific Rim, which apart from playtesting I’d never actually played. This last IndieCon I actually got to play it with a group and it worked very well indeed. Players of different power levels were not left out as they could create tags, observe and otherwise contribute and size differences weren’t too much of an issue either. FATE scales pretty well.
There’s various necessaries you need to consider in doing a conversion though.
The scale rules introduced in the FATE system toolkit are gratifyingly similar to the ones I came up with for Pacific Rim, but a little different. I prefer mine, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
I would suggest:
-1 Little Person
3 Transport Aircraft
5 Aircraft Carrier
The scale of a thing adds to – or takes away – from its Physical Stress (down to a minimum of 1 and thereafter reduces the effectiveness of consequences by -1 each, starting with Severe and working down).
Scale difference provides armour, if its positive.
Weapons and armour should scale from 1-5 (given superweapons) rather than the usual 1-3.
A pixie is scale -3. Physical Stress starts at 2, but is reduced by 1 to 1, the remaining -2 are taken off Severe and then Moderate, reducing their effectiveness to 5 and 3.
A person is firing an assault rifle against a car. A car is scale 1 and so gets 1 extra armour and starts with 3 stress, on top of any other bonuses it has.
Mega-damage is a huge pain in the arse, but scale provides a means to make it more sane. Against human scale targets and soft targets mega-damage weapons overpenetrate and are less effective. Megadamage weapons at larger scale already have the scaling bonuses and so don’t need to be worried about. Where megadamage can be worked in would be to have weapons that ignore the armour of larger scale, so that a laser pistol – for example – can be effective against a giant robot without blasting away whole villages when you miss in personal combat.
The various special abilities of the classes can be replaced by Stunts, free Aspects and in various other ways, taking away from the refresh pool of FATE points as needed.
Given RIFTs concentration on combat, breaking down Shoot into Pistol/Rifle/Heavy and Fight into Melee/Hand to Hand makes good sense.
The standard 3-5 stunts and 3/2/1 refresh works, in RIFTs more may be needed, allowing 6 stunts for zero Refresh.
Stunt: Full Cybernetic Conversion
MI-B2 Armour Shell: +4 Armour – Negative aspect ‘Clanking’. (This is a bolt-on shell, naked cyborgs have +1 Armour and lose the ‘clanking’).
+2 Physical Stress.
Stunt: Bionic Features I
Pick an extra two Aspects related to your cybernetic implants.
Stunt: Bionic Features II
Pick another extra two Aspects related to your cybernetic implants.
Stunt: Augmented Strength
You get a free +2 bonus to any rolls involving raw, physical strength.
Cyborgs start with three weapons, each with four clips, as well as the basic starting gear from the main rulebook.
LE-B1 Light Espionage Armour: +2 Armour, Stealthy.
LI-B1 Light Infantry Armour: +3 Armour.
MI-B2 Medium Infantry Armour: +4 Armour, Clanking.
HI-B3 Heavy Infantry Armour: +5 Armour, Clanking, Heavy.