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General Category => RPGs => : elric May 14, 2009, 12:02:11 AM

: rifts muthafuckas!
: elric May 14, 2009, 12:02:11 AM
hey, names here, an i noticed a lack of rifts based guessing cuz its not that popular, though im suprised nobodies used this as an excuse to piss off tom...soo...rifts bitch!

i think palladium should just take a break from the dimensional war after the next book...and work on their world books, people have been twiddling their thumbs(or for the hardcore palladium fans, playing with their dicks) over scotland/ireland for years now...and in case nobody else has noticed, they kinda missed a large landmass called middle east, and i dont care what your political viewpoint is...india deserves its own world book, and the middle east could be a cool setting...think about it, how the hell do we still have gasoline?

before i step off my soapbox and dodge the gonna say one last thing, siembieda? its not a hard thing to us all a fucking favor and make a lazlo book...or at least put up some free errata with platos stats, seriously...last city of morally upright mages, and we have to wing it? thats fucked up.
: Re: rifts muthafuckas!
: clockworkjoe May 14, 2009, 01:16:04 AM
What Palladium needs to do is to update the fucking rules. After d20, Call of Cthulhu, GURPS 4E, White Wolf, All Flesh Must Be Eaten...well pretty much every major system besides Palladium is so much better than Palladium that I can't go back to it. Rifts may be the ultimate power trip/completely batshit insane game ever, but I would run it if the rules didn't suck so much.

: Re: rifts muthafuckas!
: dragonshaos May 14, 2009, 01:28:37 AM
My friend attempted to 'fix' the rules so they fit more towards another system so that it wouldn't take us an hour or two to make a character.  Also fix combat and just try to tweak everything he could.

After a few hours he called my crying saying there was blood everywhere and he couldn't remember the last hour.
: Re: rifts muthafuckas!
: clockworkjoe May 14, 2009, 01:47:34 AM
My friend attempted to 'fix' the rules so they fit more towards another system so that it wouldn't take us an hour or two to make a character.  Also fix combat and just try to tweak everything he could.

After a few hours he called my crying saying there was blood everywhere and he couldn't remember the last hour.

i tried it and i woke up 3 weeks later at the American Idols auditions in LA. I apparently sang well but I was informed that I couldn't be accepted because the lyrics of Born in the USA does not have the word fuck in it.
: Re: rifts muthafuckas!
: Corrosive Rabbit May 14, 2009, 10:00:16 AM
There's something to be said for a game where you can make a hyper-intelligent, telekinetic toaster as your character and not have it be the weirdest character in the group ...

That said, yeah -- rules bad.

: Re: rifts muthafuckas!
: Setherick May 14, 2009, 11:27:30 AM
My friend attempted to 'fix' the rules so they fit more towards another system so that it wouldn't take us an hour or two to make a character.  Also fix combat and just try to tweak everything he could.

After a few hours he called my crying saying there was blood everywhere and he couldn't remember the last hour.

i tried it and i woke up 3 weeks later at the American Idols auditions in LA. I apparently sang well but I was informed that I couldn't be accepted because the lyrics of Born in the USA does not have the word lol :3 in it.

It doesn't?!? **Frantically looks for the copy of the lyrics he printed off for you.**
: Re: rifts muthafuckas!
: rayner23 May 14, 2009, 09:26:42 PM
My friend attempted to 'fix' the rules so they fit more towards another system so that it wouldn't take us an hour or two to make a character.  Also fix combat and just try to tweak everything he could.

After a few hours he called my crying saying there was blood everywhere and he couldn't remember the last hour.

i tried it and i woke up 3 weeks later at the American Idols auditions in LA. I apparently sang well but I was informed that I couldn't be accepted because the lyrics of Born in the USA does not have the word fuck in it.

Ross, that was the funniest fucking thing I have heard in awhile.
: Re: rifts muthafuckas!
: Setherick May 15, 2009, 11:29:54 AM
I would say we completely hijacked this thread. But the original poster only has ONE POST EVER! He's probably never been back. So let the flame war commence.
: Re: rifts muthafuckas!
: elric May 16, 2009, 01:27:04 PM
you wish,

*goes all park ranger on the flame war* points taken, but i mean from a background/ story aspect, nobody cares about the minion war...cuz demons dont really use people(read: PCs) for their missions when theyve got fellow demons to do it for them...

like i said, give us an india or scotland book or give us...well...fuck it, gimme my world books!
: Re: rifts muthafuckas!
: Sean-o-tron May 28, 2009, 04:10:50 AM
I bought the original core rulebook at half-price a month ago just to see what all the hubbub was about Rifts was.  It pretty much melts my brain.  Everything in it seems like it came out of a middle schooler's wet dream.  Even so, the imagery of the Coalition soldiers would be good for a future sci-fi game.
: Re: rifts muthafuckas!
: Murph May 28, 2009, 08:21:14 AM
All I ever hear about when people talk about Rifts is baby dragons, something about Crazies (which makes me imagine Zippy the pinhead) and then something about giant robots.  It does litterally sound like something I would draw on my brown paper bag covered textbooks in 2nd grade.  But not the math textbook.  That one is reserved for the giant space battle where all the lasers bounce off other lasers.

Also Born in the USA does not have the word fuck in it yet
: Re: rifts muthafuckas!
: doctorscraps May 28, 2009, 02:44:45 PM
My only encounter with Palladium was when my friends took me to this game shop somewhere upstate that had a Used-Book sale going on, and our DM (I'm the GM) had her eyes on some low-cost reference books involving soul-sucking demons for d20 systems.
I spied the books along the wall...almost the entire length of the shelf was Palladium books. Then I turned my mind back to Ross and Tom's rants about the numerous flaws of Palladium...Sure they were dirt cheap books~But...ooh, d6 Adventure? Ten dollars? Mine!
I guess RPPR is saving on GM at a time by spreading the word of Palladisuck.
: Re: rifts muthafuckas!
: clockworkjoe September 10, 2009, 10:37:51 PM
you know what - wanna run rifts chaos earth using some other system - but first i need a copy - I guess if our amazon associate thingy ever gets 20 bucks, I'll do it.
: Re: rifts muthafuckas!
: clockworkjoe December 13, 2009, 05:06:52 PM
The SA forums has a great thread about Rifts. Found this story about Palladium's business practices:

From former Palladium writer Bill Coffin's rant about Seimbieda's practices:


    One of Kevin's biggest problems is that he is a micro-manager in the truest sense of the word. He runs an operation where ultimately, every single decision must go through him, and frankly, that's too much for one person to do and still keep up a company whose primary asset is a steady stream of new intellectual property. He's still living this fantasy where he thinks he can oversee everything himself and still go home and bang out a great sourcebook in seven days. Do you see the folly in this? You do? Well, bully for you, because Kevin sure doesn't.

    This is where another big problem of his comes forth and compounds his first problem: Kevin simply cannot accept the fact that sometimes he is wrong or might have fallen short in something. Work with the guy long enough, and you'll see this is the case. He never, ever accepts responsibility for something bad that has hapened to the company. Or if he does, he couches it in terms of how he's too much of a nice guy and gave Idiot Freelancer #23 a break when he should not have, or he was too open a boss and let Treacherous Scumbag #44 stab him in the back, and so on. His fault, but not really his fault.

    As a result, he surrounds himself with people that he can shunt blame to, ignoring all the while that you can't really shunt anything away from yourself in a company where you are the one guy who ultimately approves every single thing that happens. But, he does it anyway, which is why when an order gets boggled, it's one of his worker's fault. When he can't get writing at home done, it's the fault of somebody in his family. When he assigns a book to be written, has fully crystallized views on what that book ought to be but does not share them with the writer, and gets a book he didn't expect, why, that's the writer's fault. When the distributors don't order 8,000 copies of his latest book which is three months overdue, it's the tough marketplace's fault.

    (IMO, this explains why Kevin holds some measure of disdain for pretty much everybody in his life -- the way he sees it, everybody he comes into contact with lets him down at some point or another. For a guy who feels like he's propping up the efforts of a bunch of halfwits and marginal talents, he still can't see that without all those people, he wouldn't have a company.)

    These things have a nasty tendency to pile on top of each other and create vicious circles of which Palladium's goofy production schedule is a great example.

    It starts with Kevin receiving a manuscript proposal for Rifts Greenland. Kevin likes the pitch and greenlights the project. Whatever the freelancer's ideas for the book are, Kevin gets jazzed over the concept of the book and develops all on his own what the book ought to be. Only, this is going on while the poor freelancer is writing the book, so surprise, surprise, when the book gets turned in, it's not what Kevin wanted. This is a classic case of somebody hating Black Hawk Down because when they went ot see it, they were in the mood for M*A*S*H. So, Kevin does what he does best, he writes the freelancer a patronizing letter on how excited he was when the project was first pitched and how disapoointed he was that all that promise never materialized. Sometimes, the freelancer doesn't take this well, and he goes off on Kevin, which is never a good thing because then it prompts Kevin to call his other writers, read to them the letters he and Angry Freelancer traded back in forth and lament about how sad it is that there are so few professionals in this business.

    But back to work. We now have a Rifts Greenland is not to Kevin's liking, but he wants to put the book out, both because he wants his vision of it realized and because he needs new product. Objectively speaking, it might, in this case, be smart to write off Rifts Greenland and instead put out the book he's been working on himself. Only he can't, because he hasn't been working on a book himself. He's been busy running a company by chewing out the guys in the warehouse, fighting with Disney over preserving his right to sell Rifts tee shirts he'll never produce once the movie comes out, and calling his other freelancers to bitch about how difficult his life is.

    Thus, as shipping day looms, Kevin has no Rifts Greenland, and no Mechanoids Space, BTS 2E or whatever he really ought to have been working on all this time. But he's got bills to pay, so he must produce something. And, since he got all fired up about the very idea of Rifts Greenland way back when the project was first introduced, he started pimping the book thirty-two seconds after he received a signed copy of the book contract from the freelancer. So now the public expects Rifts Greenland whether its ready or not. And what's more, he put the book on a release schedule that would only be met if every stage of the book's production goes entirely according to plan.

    There are (surprise!) a few problems with this. One, by now Kevin ought to know full well that unless he's got a dependable full-timer writing for him (ala CJ Carella) he hits his schedules a fraction of the time. So, until he goes a year or two hitting every single release date on the nose, he ought to budget 50% more time for his projects than he does. Or at the very least, he should have the decency to not get bent out of shape when his unrealistically planned project goes overdue, further cementing his company's reputation for having one of the most unreliable production schedules in the business.

    The second problem at this stage of the game is that Kevin never actually looks at a finished book until it's a few weeks away from its date with the printer. This, my friends, is akin to a flight crew performing a pre-flight check on a plane that is taxiing down the runway. If Kevin were smart, he'd give all incoming manuscripts a full edit the moment they hit his desk a) to see if they are any good and b) to speed the production process along. Kevin's editors would certainly do a better job of making sure the book is what Kevin wants if Kevin molded it a bit himself to begin with.

    But no, what happens is Kevin gets the book, often holds on to it for a period of time, then drops it on his editors, who he routinely criticizes for not really being able to edit. Then, 12 days before print time, he expects to be able to do a quick brush-up edit himself on a book that by his reckoning, shouldn't need it anyway. This particular recipe for disaster, in comparison, makes mixing buckshot, nitroglycerine and pistachio ice cream together in a Slurpee machine seem like the next big thing in frozen desserts.

    Thus we come to the best part of the process, where Kevin -- already disgruntled because he feels obligated to rewrite Rifts Greenland into what it should have been in the first place, and even further disgruntled because he feels this is pulling him away from the projects he really wants to be working on (even though he really wasn't working on them anyway) -- undergoes a commando rewrite of the project. He's got about two weeks to do it in, a vision of the finished project and about three half-decent ideas ot get him there. Obviously, Kevin can't get blood from a stone, so he writes up some half-strength filler material, knocks about some reprint material, and takes what he likes from the original Rifts Greenland manuscript, giving himself co-credit for having the wisdom to give it a second chance. If he's really hard put, he'll take a look at the art that's already come in and mine it for ideas ("Hmm...this D-bee wasn't in any other books, but it looks cool, so I hereby declare this guy the Grinkle-Nosed Hogtailer R.C.C. Nobody will mind if I reprint the picture, especially once I Xerox it and scribble a few more details on it myself..."). If he's got a freelance writer he works with who he trusts, he'll call them up and ask for a quickie section on something that tangentially refers to Rifts Greenland by the end of the weekend.

    What's that, you say? When does he play test any of this stuff? That's a good question. Too bad it's got a bad answer. For starters, he's only got a few days between when he finishes a book and when he gets it out to the printer, so there's no time for a proper shakedown. Not that any of this needs one, don't you know, because the Palladium engine works, it's rock solid, the fans like it judging by the number of books that have sold over the years, and all those jerkoffs over at RPGnet who keep telling him to revamp the engine can kindly take a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut. Third, when I was still working for the man, Kevin didn't role-play anymore. He was too busy running a role-playing game company. (Some poor saffron-clad Tibetan is up in the mountains right now trying like hell to wrap his brain around that one.)

    Once Kevin's ready for layout, he prints out the whole mess and fires up his wax machine because he still puts these damned things together by hand. What's that? Desktop publishing software? Naw, he's faster without it! To his credit, he lays out the book in fairly decent time, but he also illustrates why all Palladium books have a simple two-column format. Kevin isn't going to cut columns to shape or deviate from formula because he might have to reflow a section of the book, and when he does, all those columns have to be standard or else none of it works. Where this really makes you want to bang your head against the tip of an artillery shell is when he lays out 80% of the book, discovers that he'd like to rename an alphabetically ordered item on page 5 and decides that it would be too much work to reflow the rest of the list. You know how every so often in a Palladium book you'll have a series of NPCs or OCCs or something and one of them is grossly out of alphabetical order? That's why. I used to think it was because Kevin couldn't read the alphabet. Now I know it's because he's truly, madly, deeply in love with putting books together in ways that even Monty Burns would decry as old-fashioned.

    Voila! He's finally got Rifts Greenland in the bag and off to the printer. And all it took was him not sleeping for a week (after he already skipped a week's sleep handling the Post Office of the Apocalypse sourcebook fiasco), telling a fresh freelancer to go take a hike, calling up his other workers to say that somehow this might be his best work yet, executing a slapdash layout job, recycling artwork and telling himself over and over again that nobody does it like than he does. In that regard, he's dead on, because 1985 ended way back in NINETEEN EIGHTY FUCKING FIVE.

    This is the crazy way in which Kevin Siembieda produces a book. I don't really know exactly how he handles the precise details of managing the rest of his operation, but I always felt that his book production methods set an ominous precedent.

    If any good comes out of it, it is all thanks to him. If any bad comes out of it, well, then it's your fault and my fault and that guy's fault and her fault and the industry's fault and the fault of that fucker who sold him a soggy pierogie yesterday get the picture.

    What really keeps this vicious cycle going, however, is that for a long time, Kevin was extremely successful working this way. So successful, in fact, that it reinforced all those nasty elements I've outlined so far, proving not only that Kevin was right all along, but that the way he does things is practically the Gospel According to Kevin, patron saint of keeping it real in the RPG industry. Only the GAtK doesn't really work that well anymore. Sales are slipping because the company's premier game seems to have played out its best ideas, its other games don't get much support and -- get this -- the new stuff coming out is largely recycled from a game line that is suffering from falling sales. (There's a Tibetan monk working on that one, too.) And of course, taking the fans' input into consideration for what they'd like to see, such as a simplified core book or a drastically rewritten engine, is simply out of the question. Maybe he's too busy writing up memos about how he gives his fans what they want or something.

    But the bottom line is that all is not well, and that some major changes ought to be made to keep the business dynamic and thriving. But those changes keep getting ignored while it gets harder and harder to sell product that is already coming out in smaller print runs and abbreviated page counts. Times are tough, no doubt about that. And you know what? Maybe, just maybe, it's not the industry's fault or some freelancer's fault or the weather's fault, or his pet chinchilla's fault. Maybe it's Kevin's fault.

: Re: rifts muthafuckas!
: Sean-o-tron December 13, 2009, 08:10:56 PM
Bill Coffin goes into some pretty interesting detail about the context behind that rant and some more "interesting" experiences with Kevin Seimbieda on Episode 29 of Kicked in the Dicebags (http://Seimbieda).
: Re: rifts muthafuckas!
: Tadanori Oyama December 14, 2009, 08:58:10 PM
You know I've never played or read Rifts. There are books that use the system in my usual used book store. I kind of want to check it out, just to see if its as bad as it sounds.
: Re: rifts muthafuckas!
: TigerStorm December 14, 2009, 09:03:00 PM
Even if you manage to get the books for free, you'll feel like you overpaid. The idea of blending as many genres as you can with Rifts is tempting, and the game would be fun if the system mechanics themselves weren't so horrendous.
: Re: rifts muthafuckas!
: Tadanori Oyama December 14, 2009, 10:13:32 PM
So, is there like a fan mod for the game, or something? I don't know how copyright plays out exactly but can't a bunch of gamers get together and make a method of converting Rifts material into usable rules?
: Re: rifts muthafuckas!
: TigerStorm December 14, 2009, 10:28:19 PM
There probably is if you delve enough through the entire internet. I, personally, just haven't had enough interest in the system to go through the trouble.
: Re: rifts muthafuckas!
: clockworkjoe December 15, 2009, 01:04:29 AM
Palladium goes after fan conversions with rabid dogs and lawyers. Just run it with Mutants and Masterminds or GURPS.
: Re: rifts muthafuckas!
: TigerStorm December 15, 2009, 01:25:15 AM
Of the systems that I've had any real in-depth experience with, I've found M&M to be the most adaptable.
: Re: rifts muthafuckas!
: Abub June 08, 2010, 05:14:29 PM
I liked the little tweaks they did in the RUE edition