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Through the Rift: Rifts Source book 1 (updated, Revised & extended)

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.

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(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!

My top five picks for beginners to RPG’s

Hey guys Jim here from creative playing podcast network I’ve got a great tip for this weeks blog. Our top five games that I would get for a new gamer in your household.

All right so for this post well be under the pretense of this is for someone who pretty much wants to get into role-playing games but hasn’t played much, so here goes:

Number Five: Dungeon World!


The last few years have seen a lot of new ideas and awesome game  mechanics come into the RPG world, and Dungeon World is a prime example of this rebirth. Dungeon World is the answer to the age old question, “What if D&D were an Indie RPG?” and it does a great job of establishing itself. It is the fantasy setting version of the game Apocalypse World, but Dungeon World draws nicely from two of my favorite games like FATE (for rules and heart) and Dungeons & Dragons (for feels and soul).

One reason its on this list is for new players and GM’s, there is a focus on rules that influence the story in a meta capacity or mechanics let you control the narrative in a more abstract way than D&D does. Dungeon World brings a lot of ideas the rules of Dungeon World are shaped around a very specific old-school play style but use modern rules and game design that has the advantage of being very easy homebrew rules to add in your own elements.

Dungeon World is built to introduce people easily to the D&D-style gaming experience. There is a strong emphasis on the 1980s, 4X style of D&D play (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate) and rules exist for setting camp, keeping henchmen in line, exploring, etc. Dungeon World breaks what seems to be a cardinal Indie RPG rule design by keeping races and classes from D&D, which does a lot to help it keep its essential flavor.

As a GM I love one of the base ideas of the game: “Running a game shouldn’t be a pain. Dungeon World gives the GM all the tools to run a game quickly and easily. Fronts help you keep the world around the players living and evolving. Moves are ways to drive your game forward. And your Agenda keeps you on track.” -Dungeon World

Number Four: Star Wars Force and Destiny RPG Beginner Game 

The Star Wars: Force and Destiny Beginner Game by Fantasy Flight Games is a complete and excellent stand alone introduction to roleplaying in the Star Wars universe! Force and Destiny is the third installment in Fantasy Flights series of Star Wars roleplaying games and yes you’ll be hearing more about the others below on this list. Whether you are new to roleplaying or just new to Force and Destiny, the Beginner Game is a great starting point.

The starter set contains everything you need to learn and play the game. the 4 per-generated characters are amazingly put together in the style Fantasy Flight are now known for! 

what you get:

1 adventure book
1 rulebook
1 introduction sheet
1 map double sided
4 pre-generated characters
14 custom dice (not as scary as they look to learn)
8 destiny tokens
55 character tokens

… and if you go to the Fantasy Flight website you are able to download additional characters and an additional adventure, how’s that for boom for your buck!

Personally the only reason this isn’t higher ranked is learning to use force powers has a bit of a learning curve unlike the other two Fantasy Fight beginner boxes that ranked better.


Number Three: Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set: Fantasy Roleplaying Game Starter Set


Number Three is near and dear to my heart since it was the start of our podcast DND Journey of the fifth edition

Ideal for a group of 4 – 6, What you get:

the Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set includes a 64-page adventure book with everything the Dungeon Master needs to get started a 32-page rulebook for playing characters level 1 – 5 , 5 pre-generated characters, each with a character sheet and supporting reference material and classic 6 dice.

This Starter box is the bench mark of RPG’s for the fifth edition they did a great job on an adventure that takes the group to three different major locals and 5 levels so you will definitely get a ton of play out of this box as opposed to the 1-2 session boxes from most other companies. the Pre-gen characters are expertly put together explaining the new game mechanic introduced in fifth edition “inspiration system” and they lay out leveling up so its fast and smooth. Buy this set and you wont be disappointed!


Number Two: Star Wars RPG: Age of Rebellion Beginner Game                                                    

Can you say Rogue One!

yep classic Star Wars fighting the good fight against the empire! Or like we’ve modified it on our Star Wars Podcast games you can play it Empire vs rebels or clone war era.

The starter set contains everything you need to learn and play the game. the 4 per-generated characters are amazingly put together in the style Fantasy Flight are now known for! 

what you get:

1 adventure book
1 rulebook
1 introduction sheet
1 map (double sided)
4 pre-generated characters (with two more downloadable online)
14 custom dice (not as scary as they look to learn)
8 destiny tokens
55 character tokens

… and if you go to the Fantasy Flight website you are able to download additional characters and an additional adventure, how’s that for boom for your buck!

I’m a huge fan of the Fantasy Flight Dice system and their beautifully put together starter sets, character sheets that are god looking and super helpful with charts, suggestions and all a player needs in one folio!

and this leads me to…

Number One: Edge of the Empire Beginner Game 

OK so my number one is the Edge of the Empire Beginner Game! This is a great starter game I personally have to say everyone who plays the beginner game box has loved to have loved it! The  characters are set up is such a way anyone can pick it up and game!so that way anyone can learn to play fantasy flights edge for GM’s within 30 minutes of opening the box your ready to confidently GM! Now pick it up and get your Crew away from Teemo the Hutt!

Here’s our play through and review from two years ago:



do you have some games you’d like added to this list?



the Walking dead… All hail the King babe!

(No Spoilers, I promise just fanboying)

I have to say I am thoroughly enjoying this season of the walking dead! Now I know it had a bloody and brutal start and that dashed chaos and trauma on us but after seeing tonight’s episode I’m am pleased with the feel and honoring of the characters we got to meet in the Kingdom!

We’ve been given a glimpse into more than the darkness forced on us in the season opener. Now I admit that those we lost on the show had to go since the characters couldn’t like in a post Negan world but in meeting King Ezekiel we see hope and honor and what we should strive for including helping one another to all succeed and make a place for the betterment of all.

We are all actors in our own tale and I loved the Carol/Ezekiel moment we’re all the cards on the table and the simple act of saying: “I’m sorry! For all the bad you’ve been through” and that the lesson “where’s there’s life, there’s life!” Powerful words and concepts for folks in any bad times in my opinion!

All the walking dead leaders have been powerful archetypes and I’ve glad we’re meeting the King!

…and Jerry in one of my new favorite characters on the show!

for more on the grea King with a tiger check out the walking dead Wiki page if you don’t mind the spoilers or if your more Thank 2 years behind in the comics (which I completely think you should read and enjoy as well!)

Also next weeks sneak peek looks chalk full of Negan, Daryl and that guy we hate with the half burned face!

Check out the talking dead this week to see how they did the great Tiger Shiva, pawing around all these actors 😉


Yes We Would love to review your game or book!


Earlier this week, I was asked about reviewing a book by a local Author and had to resoundingly respond YES! As a whole we all love to game, read all kinds of Genre’s and formats (Kindle, Stanza  and Audible know us all very well! ).

If you’d like for us to review something and bring a little extra attention to something please reach out to us at:


The one Caveat I do have to stress is we will give an honest and personal review, as well as hitting Amazon/Audible up as well. If you’ve listened to a few episodes you know where a fun and diverse bunch and I know for a fact we can always find something great about things and we will honestly grade you on our D20 Scale!

You know what I also think it might be time to do a Review of Reviews and look back at some of our earlier reviews as well! Hmmmmm…. Something to look forward to this summer!

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