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The RIFTER #83

PALLADIUM BOOKS: Your Guide to the Megaverse

By now every Palladium role-player who has adventured in the mighty Megaverse knows about the regular journey into the many and various Universes that the amazing RIFTER magazine takes us on. Each issue focuses on two or three of the main RPG themes that usilise the Palladium role-play game system, modified as necessary to the needs of the theme. There are features and stories, new ideas and discussions, monsters, creatures and characters, and indepth pilgrimiges into the profundity that each different theme offers up. With its 96 pages there is more useful information within than found in many role-play books that cost twice its $14.99 and are half its size. Each edition of the RIFTER is like three extensions of core  books for the Megaverse and Palladium system.

The back cover has plenty of information about what is in this issue #83, if you can read it! I am not a professional graphic designer so I have no right to be critical of the way the magazine has been presented, but whoever thought black text on a glossy deep purple card couldn't have imagined it under regular house light. I wear spectacles for long vision (I am short-sighted) and for the computer (which is positioned just out of the range of my short vision) but without my glasses I can read quite small (7 - 8 point Times New Roman or Arial) with no difficulty. With my specs on or off I struggle to read the back page of issue #83 under the lighting we use for our game sessions (apologies Kevin - the cover is part of Kevin Long's original Rifts Conversion Book One from 1996).

Thankfully the 96 inner pages are all in Black & White and I can read every page (except #20 #24 #48 & #68 which are full page illustrations ☺)

So as usual the first couple of pages are a feast of delight as they headline and explain many of the features to be found in the forthcoming pages. I was reaching to flip to pages 6 & 7 before you have read half of what is in store. On those pages is the regular feature "From the Desk of Kevin Siembieda" (I have yet to discover how Kevin's desk manages to write so much good stuff - I am beginning to have a sneaky feeling that Kevin himself helps it out, at least with the spelling).

With RIFTS BESTIARY Volume One now out and working its magic on all it comes into contact with, it is time to look towards 'Garden of the Gods' (Palladium Fantasy), 'In the Face of Death' should be appearing around now for Dead Reign/Zombies, 'Titan Robotics' for Rifts in October/November and in the Winter when it gets cold and the nights are dark BESTIARY volume two should be nestling in your hands .... this is just the tip of the iceberg as an deluge of RIFTERS and RIFTS books are working their way, spiralling through the pipeline that is Kevin Siembieda's never-resting omnipotent imagination.

Did you know that there is a Palladium Fantasy RPG Interactive Character Sheet available ONLY online? You can get it from the websites of Palladium Books and also from This character sheet is based on the Microsoft Excel character management system and is useful for the majority of Palladium Books role-play games.

The excellent work of Robert Atkins, the brilliance of Steven Cummings and the amazing Sires Jan Black have joined forces with the experienced Michael Mumah, Mark Dudley, Kevin Siembieda and Benjamin Rodriguez, as some of the newest artists contributing to the current crop of superb Palladium volumes.

Between all of the interim pages there are five large features, one for 'Beyond the Supernatural', two for 'Palladium Fantasy' and two for 'Heroes Unlimited'. My favourite, probably because it is of great use to any one/all of the Megaverse universes with material that can easily be co-opted for other game systems involving spies, is 'Saving the World - with the Secret Operative' by Matt Reed. It sets out for players the world of spies and spycraft better than almost any feature I have previously read. Matt considers it to be good for 'Nightbane' and 'Heroes Unlimited' though for me it is has also broadened my perspective thoughts towards designing an adventure for my detective playing role-player friends.

I can't go through every page of RIFTER #83 - if I did it would be pointless in you buying it - so the last thing I will mention is Carl Gleba's 01%-100% listing of Megaverse Treasures gleaned from various Palladium books and systems. It has a random list for GMs requiring a treasure cache. It is derived from the best choices of 'Burbs' and 'The Black Vault', 'Tolkeen', and 'Splynn's Dimensional Market' on 'Atlantis'. GMs can use this to quickly select what they want found or they can use it as a random discovery chart for on the spot looting or searching.

Sometimes the pages of the RIFTER magazine look like a scary solid black mass of text but mainly they are broken up by Kevin's choice of fantastic fantasy artwork. As an in-house magazine the RIFTER is right up there with the best of them and should be part of a regular diet for players of any Megaverse system.


© Chris Baylis 2011-2015