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Through the Rift: Rifts Source book 1 (updated, Revised & extended)
Listen to our Podcast Review episode HERE
The original version of this book was one of the first Rifts books I picked up after getting the original Rifts base book for Christmas one year back in the 90’s.
This book had everything I was hoping for to add to my gaming group and gave some great reading material. Now mind you you’ll be hearing these words repeated in these Rifts book reviews, mainly since the format that the books are written is both reference material and a multi book story adding layer upon layer of new materials.
One of the first teasers I got to see in the book was the add in marvel comics depicting two dynobots going at it beating each other up and wow did it look good!
The original cover depicted Hagan Lonovich (a partner of the new big bad A.R.C.H.I.E. Three) and robotic minions. The book was the first real glimpse of A.R.C.H.I.E. Three and how he was a big bad of Rifts and a savior at the same time, A.R.C.H.I.E. Three supplied and protected humanity against the likes of hes dreaded enemy the Splugorth of Atlantis!
I would say this book did a great job of being updated and cleaned up, so that a lot of redundant information that appears in other books but great for those new to the game and coming in from Savage Rifts! For the older Gamers who’ve been around a while and still play Rifts, it’s worth considering picking up this book. A lot of information has really been cleaned up and there’s new, worthwhile information to get in this book.
In the Rifts core rulebook a brief overview was given to the movers and shakers of the Rifts setting. One of the biggest players was the Coalition military group, and the sourcebook gives us a really good picture of the upper echelon of their leadership. We are introduced the Proseks, their generals and even more information is given in regards to soldier armaments, Coalition ideals and practices as well as ample discussion regarding various errata or player questions raised by the original release of the RPG. Where this sourcebook really shined for me was in the inclusion of A.R.C.H.I.E. Three, the maniacal computer system from our past that survived the apocalypse. A series of adventure hooks are given, and a decent little adventure unfolds as we learn about this unknown menace, mind you over 20+ years every group I’ve had play the adventure have all enjoyed it and everyone ended differently too boot!
The expanded info introduces a new faction I’ve loved since their introduction in Chaos earth, NEMA the North American Military Alliance, better yet they become a faction that for good or evil has even infiltrated the coalition), the Republicans! A secret branch of the old American Government and Military that’s still operating in secret around Archie’s Facilities. Keeping it interesting are the ties to NEMA for those who’ve picked up the Rifts Chaos Earth series and a several new Power Armors and equipment. Your player group could even be NEMA solders in cryo from the ‘golden age’ that even though A.R.C.H.I.E. Three thinks it’s too soon for you to wake up in this dangerous world ‘he’ll’ still equip you as best he can. Just thinking of the possibilities of what a Savage Rifts group can do with this little 160 page sourcebook are huge!
Palladium has always been kind of hit or miss with rules, playing sort of fast and loose and leaving it up to the GM to sort out any discrepancies which has always been a plus for me, and this book is no exception but frankly I can’t say enough, it was just plain fun to read, and that is saying something too. Ultimately, Siembieda does what he is known for and writes a fast-paced narrative that gets you entrenched in the setting quickly. In the revised edition, as a whole this will always be one of my favorite purchases from Palladium.
(Here’s that Dynabot picture from Sourcebook one)
The last section of the book is a monster manual of sorts. All of the information is updated and some, like the Simvan Monster Riders have been dropped as they appear in Rifts Lone Star and quick stats for the Xiticix are included here as they’re something else that was also dropped with the RUE book.
All in All this book is a Natural 20 and should be picked up!