We played the shit out of RIFTS. In retrospect, that was the only way to play it. The whole thing was a masterclass in nineties awesomeness where you could happily mash together anything and have it still make sense in context. The premise of the ame was that a world-wide nuclear war creates so much death that the resulting psychic fallout re-opens the dormant, magical ley-lines that crisscrossed the glob. And where those lines crossed, extra-dimensional Rifts opened to allow anything to cross through. That was the whole point. Wanna play a psionic, cybernetic Elf? On RIFTS Earth, that was strictly amateur hour.
|Put this in the pilot seat of a mecha made of alien dragon hide, and you're getting closer.|
|Like this, only boring.|
Then we played the new system and it actually worked. In fact it worked better. WEG system has to take into account Jedi and Star Destroyers and Ewoks, so the system already has rules for scaling up or down, and this had the side effect of making humans and other 'squishy' (RIFTS' actual term for non-superhuman races) characters a playable option, probably for the first time since the game was published.
|According to the official rules, this happens exactly six seconds |
after you choose to play a regular human character.
Why bring this up?
According to the rumour mill RIFTS is going Savage Worlds. But will it survive? Just how linked are a game's world and it rule-system? Will new players even care that it used to have a completely unworkable rules system? Will it still feel like the same RIFTS to veteran players? This is going to be a very interesting development to watch.