Palladium Books RIFTS essentials!


First you really need to get a copy of RIFTS Ultimate Edition, it is fantastic as a stand alone product BUT if you get the Games Master guide, the Book of Magic and Conversion Book 1 you really will have everything you could ever need to run an endless amount of games using the Palladium Books System!



Games Master Guide


Why you need this book:


First you get the RIFTS lexicon, this will be a great help simply explaining the lingo of this new world to your players!


Into the book proper and we get some invaluable advice when it comes to setting up an adventure. The book explains how to set up the basics of the adventure and then give you seven classic plots, each of these plots is a fantastic way of getting your players involved in the game world. Having used all of these plots myself I can say that each one of them is extremely useful and really do work!


RIFTS Games Master Guide

The next section of the book focuses on the game mechanics. The experience level system is explained in more detail but my favourite part of this section is all about balance or rather the lack of balance in RIFTS, reading this section may well change the way you view RPG’s forever, I love it because at in my humble opinion finely balanced RPG’s feel more like board games where everyone is exactly the same bar a little visual description. In real life a store clerk does not earn as much as a football player, the man living next door isn’t likely to be as strong as a heavyweight boxer (unless of course you live next door to a heavyweight boxer!) following this logic how is a vagabond with a knife ever going to go toe to toe against an assault helicopter!


There is a large section on all of the games rules, from hand to hand combat to ranged combat. Each types of combat are analysed and explained at length with examples to back them up. There is also a comprehensive list of all skills to date (as of the printing of this book), this is extremely useful when you may be sat round a table with 4-5 (or more) player characters who have all been designed using different skills from dozens of different books!


The main meat of the book though is dedicated to listing EVERY Psionic power, EVERY weapon from EVERY manufacturer, EVERY suit of body armour, power armour, robot vehicle, general vehicle and Bionic device you could ever ask for!


You want a Kittani plasma axe, a Naruni enterprises energy net, a Triax rifle and a Wellington industries flame thrower? You got it! 


The end of the book also offers yet more great advice for GM’s, in fact I believe every GM should read the section on the Seven Deadly Sins, this really is invaluable because sins such as railroading can really ruin a game and even break up a group of players.


We also get 100 ideas for games! This is a great little section full of hook, line and sinkers which can be used as a basis for making 100 involved and deep gaming sessions, mini-campaigns and even full campaigns. Fantastic!




Book of Magic


Why you need this book:


The book begins with Games Master tips for running mages. This part of the book really opened my eyes as to how mages were supposed to be run in RIFTS. Instead of being miserly with our spell rewards we should be, instead, more generous. At the end of the day a Robot pilot will probably start life with a 2D6x10MDC Rail-Gun yet some GM’s would make a mage wait till 4th level to get a good suit of magical armour.  This book teaches us how to embrace the mage and understand his way of thinking. The book also has a detailed description of what the Coalition think of magic and their innovative ways of dealing with magic users. Some tips are also available for player and GM’s alike on how to use leylines strategically, a must read for all.


RIFTS Book of Magic

Now to the big stuff, EVERY spell form EVERY class of caster is here! EVERY Techno-wizard item or Bio-wizardry item is here!


African chants? Here. Nazca line magic? Here. Tattoo magic? Here. Necromancy, Bio-wizardry, Underwater magic, Elemental magic, Stone magic, Rune magic, Temporal magic, even Wale magic!?  All of it from every book (up till the date of printing of course) is all here and laid out in an easy to find format.


This book contains over 300 pages of pure magic spells, invocations, rituals, weapons, armours, staffs… heck even Demon possessed chainsaws!


In short if your game is going to involve magic then you need to get this book!







Conversion book 1

 RIFTS Conversion Book 1

Why you need this book:


All the rules are here for converting all of your favourite characters from Palladium Fantasy, Beyond the Supernatural, Heroes Unlimited, After the Bomb, Ninjas and Superspies and Nightbane to RIFTS or Vice Versa.


On top of all that Palladium books have taken the liberty of converting most of your favourite races, demons, devil, dragon, giant and other assorted potential PC’s or NPC’s for you! Having literally dozens of D-Bees from a multitude of settings ensures you are never at a loss when it comes to populating your world!










Worth mentioning

World Book 16: The Federation of Magic


 RIFTS EB16 Federation of Magic

Political intrigue and the masters of magic are present in this great source book. The best of it though is the new OCC’s, simply put they are fantastic and it is about time Mages learnt to fight back against technology. These mages are no push overs and are skilled combatants with powerful spells allies and abilities.


This was the book that dragged spell invocations kicking and screaming into the age of RIFTS, spells as powerful as particle beams (or more so! Look at the annihilation spell) and magic armour as durable as some suits of power armour.


I honestly believe that without this book I wouldn’t have anywhere near the love for magic in RIFTS as I do now, sure it’s great to be able to turn into a tiger like in the original book but it is way cooler to transform into an 18ft tall MDC giant with supernatural strength!





Are there any other books from palladium you think need to be included in this list? If so contact us through Twitter, Facebook or email us at we would love to hear from you!


You may also like to read:


Palladium Fantasy Heroes Unlimited 2nd Edition RIFTS: Main Rule Book RIFTS: Ultimate Edition


Want to try another system?


World of Darkness Core Book Dark Heresy Savage Worlds Deluxe Radiance