Rifts House Rules

Character Generation

  1. When an attribute roll on a 3D6 comes up 16 through 18, instead of rolling an additional 1d6, roll 2D4-2. This gives a slightly different range, +0 to +6 instead of +1 to +6, allowing for characters to have a natural 16 in an attribute.
    1. There is no second roll if the bonus dice turn up a 6.
    2. If an attribute roll calls for different dice, a bonus roll will be awarded based on the following:
      1. a natural roll of 6 if an attribute calls for 1D6.
      2. a natural roll of 11 or 12 if an attribute calls for 2D6.
      3. a natural roll of 21-24 if an attribute calls for 4D6.
      4. a natural roll of 26-30 if an attribute calls for 5D6.
      5. a natural roll of 30-36 if an attribute calls for 6D6.
      6. A natural roll of 7 or 8 if an attrubte calls for 2D4 gets a bonus roll of 2D3-2.
      7. A natural roll of 4 on if an attribute calls for 1D4 (extremely rare!) gets a bonus roll of 1D4-1.
  2. The High Attribute Bonus Table is adjusted to start at 12, not 16. This makes attributes that are not P.S. and Spd. between 12 and 16 more meaningful.
    1. The I.Q. Skill Bonus does not apply to skills that would be based off agility in other systems, such as most Piloting skills, many Physical skills, and selected Espionage and Rogue skills (like Pick Pockets). A full list will be forthcoming.
    2. In the case of the afore-mentioned skills, use the IQ bonus line but base it off the P.P. attribute.
    3. The Perception bonus based off I.Q. from Nightbane will be implemented. However, the canon Perception vs Skills mechanic will be ignored in favor of opposed skill checks. See #1 under Skills (below) for further details.
    Attribute Bonus Table
      12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
    I.Q. Mental Skill Bonus +2% +3% +4% +5% +6% +7% +8% +9% +10% +11% +12% +13% +14% +15% +16% +17% +18% +19% +20%
    I.Q. Perception Bonus +1 +1 +2 +2 +3 +3 +4 +4 +5 +5 +6 +6 +7 +7 +8 +8 +9 +9 +10
    M.E. Save vs Psychic Attack/Insanity +1 +1 +2 +2 +3 +3 +4 +4 +5 +5 +6 +6 +7 +7 +8 +8 +9 +9 +10
    M.A. Trust/Intimidate 45% 50% 55% 60% 65% 70% 75% 80% 84% 88% 92% 94% 96% 97% 97% 97% 97% 97% 97%
    P.S. Hand to Hand Damage Bonus +1 +2 +3 +4 +5 +6 +7 +8 +9 +10 +11 +12 +13 +14 +15 +16 +17 +18 +19
    P.P. Strike/Parry/Dodge Bonus +1 +1 +2 +2 +3 +3 +4 +4 +5 +5 +6 +6 +7 +7 +8 +8 +9 +9 +10
    P.P. Physical Skill Bonus +2% +3% +4% +5% +6% +7% +8% +9% +10% +11% +12% +13% +14% +15% +16% +17% +18% +19% +20%
    P.E. Save vs Coma/Death +5% +6% +8% +10% +12% +14% +16% +18% +20% +22% +24% +26% +28% +30% +30% +30% +30% +30% +30%
    P.E. Save vs Poison/Magic +1 +1 +2 +2 +3 +3 +4 +4 +5 +5 +6 +6 +7 +7 +8 +8 +9 +9 +10
    P.B. Charm/Impress 30% 35% 40% 45% 50% 55% 60% 65% 70% 75% 80% 83% 86% 90% 92% 92% 92% 92% 92%

  3. I do not own Rifts Ultimate Edition, so I do not know what manner of low attribute penalties are listed in there. (Addendum: I have manged to take a brief look. The attribute penalties looked overly involved, complicated, and kludgy.) However, I have devised a Low Attribute Penalty Table of my own.
  4. Attribute Penalty Table
      1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
    I.Q. Mental Skill Penalty (one-time) -80% -70% -60% -50% -30% -20% -10% -5%
    I.Q. Perception Penalty -8 -7 -6 -5 -4 -3 -2 -1
    M.E. Save vs Psychic Attack/Insanity -8 -7 -6 -5 -4 -3 -2 -1
    M.A. Distrust/Scorn 90% 87% 85% 75% 65% 55% 45% 35%
    P.S. Hand to Hand Damage Penalty -8 -7 -6 -5 -4 -3 -2 -1
    P.P. Strike/Parry/Dodge Penalty -8 -7 -6 -5 -4 -3 -2 -1
    P.P. Physical Skill Penalty -80% -70% -60% -50% -30% -20% -10% -5%
    P.E. Save vs Coma/Death -80% -70% -60% -50% -30% -20% -10% -5%
    P.E. Save vs Poison/Magic -8 -7 -6 -5 -4 -3 -2 -1
    P.B. Disgust/Revile 90% 87% 85% 75% 65% 55% 45% 35%

  5. Non-supernatural/non-bionic characters cannot have natural M.D.C.; this includes any of the natural M.D.C. races from the Dimension Books. Most typical M.D.C. races have A.R., H.P., and S.D.C. options in their description for use on non-M.D.C. worlds; when available, use those. If those are not available, factor H.P. normally and S.D.C. according to O.C.C. Dragons, gargoyles, brodkil, and the like are still supernatural beings, and can have natural M.D.C. Full-conversion Borgs, including such races as the Kremin Cyborg, are also still natural M.D.C. creatures.
  6. Certain items in the Attribute Bonus/Penalty Tables must be actively used in play to get the bonus. These are: (M.A.) Trust/Intimidate, Distrust/Scorn, (P.B.) Charm/Impress, and Disgust/Revile.

Character Classes

  1. Certain races with Racial Character Classes (such as the dragons) can give up the racial skills, psionics, and magic abilities to take an Occupational Character Class. In this case, the XP table used is the one with the slower progression. For example, a Great Horned Dragon who is a Line Walker has given up his natural spellcasting, psionics, and skills - including his ability to teleport - to focus on the Line Walker's magical powers and skills, but still uses the Dragon XP chart because it progresses much slower than the Line Walker's.
  2. Dual-classing is not permitted except in extreme cases (a mage or master psychic becoming a Borg or a Juicer undergoing detox). In these cases, all of the character's skills are frozen at the level they are at. The character must first earn 1,000 XP, and then becomes a first-level character of the class he is shifting into, and can take the O.C.C. skills (and only the O.C.C. skills) of the new class. He then gains new skills (O.C.C. Related and Secondary) at the rate indicated for the new class. If there is overlap between the new O.C.C. skills and the frozen skills, the higher skill level takes precedence; if frozen skill is higher, it remains frozen until such time as the new O.C.C. gets to a level where the new O.C.C.'s skill would be equal or higher.
  3. The Shifter class has been revised.
  4. The Borg classes, particularly the Labor Borg, have been revised. Ask for details.
  5. The Techno-Wizard class is undergoing revision. Details to follow.

Using Skills

  1. Opposed skill rolls are now available. In this case, it is the margin of success which will determine success. This mechanic replaces the Perception vs Skills mechanic as outlined in Nightbane.
    1. Example: Sneaky Pete is setting up an ambush, hoping to get the jump on Sherrif Wood. Sneaky Pete has Prowl at 52%; Sherrif Wood has Detect Ambush at 36%. Sneaky Pete rolls a 25, which is a pass by 27; Sherrif Wood rolls a 12, a pass by 24. In this case, Sneaky Pete is able to get the drop on Sherrif Wood. If Sherrif Wood had rolled lower, or Sneaky Pete higher, Wood would have seen Pete in the bushes.
  2. A single-digit roll on a skill check is always a critical success.
  3. A roll of 100 on a skill check is always a critical failure.
  4. Skills are no longer locked at a maximum of 98%. However, a roll of 99 or 100 is still a failure. The ability to raise skills above 98% is offset by the skill penalties that will be normally assessed for difficult skill uses. The skill percentages on the character sheet are assumed to be the level for standard adventuring situations; particularly easy scenarios will give a bonus to skill, while incredibly difficult ones will give a penalty. This holds true with the Attribute bonus/penalty "skills" as well.


  1. A character with Hand to Hand: Basic, Expert, Martial Arts, or Commando will start with 2 attacks per melee, not 4. A character with Hand to Hand: Assassin will also start with 1, not 3. A character with no Hand to Hand skills fighting unarmed or with a weapon he has no training in will have 1 attack per melee, but see #2 below.
  2. A character with no Hand to Hand skill but with a Weapon Proficiency used in melee (example: a Cyber-Doc with WP: Knife as an O.C.C. Skill but without taking any Hand to Hand skills) will start with 2 attacks per melee when using that weapon, plus an additional attack per melee at levels 4, 8, and 12.
  3. A character with an Ancient Weapon Proficiency uses that weapon's Rate of Fire instead of Hand to Hand attacks per melee when using that weapon.
  4. A character with no Hand to Hand skill but using a Modern Ranged Weapon gets 2 attacks per melee at level 1, plus an additional attack per melee at levels 3, 7, 10, and 14.
  5. If you use a simultaneous attack, it must be declared as a defense roll, and uses your next melee attack. Neither you nor your opponent may defend against these attacks.


  1. Spellcasters use the optional P.P.E. Channeling rules. To sum up:
    1. Line Walkers, Mystics, and other basic "sorcerer" types are Full Mages, have the widest range of spell knowledge, and have no penalties when channeling P.P.E. for casting spells. All of their spells can be channeled at the standard 5 PPE per level per action.
    2. Conjurers, Shifters, Warlocks, Necromancers, Temporal Wizards, and other such mages are Specialists, and channel at 5 P.P.E. per level per action when using spells within their narrow area of specialty. However, they can only channel 3 P.P.E. per level per action for spells outside their area of expertise. This nearly doubles the amount of time required to cast a spell outside the mage's specialized area of knowledge. In the case of a Techno-Wizard, the penalty to cast the spells only occurs when attempting to cast spells in the "traditional" manner; see "f" and #2 below for creating items.
    3. There exist, in various Palladium games, character classes that can learn to cast spells, or have the ability to cast them as a natural ability, which we'll call Dabblers. Also counted as Dabblers are those who are spell casters second to some other talent, such as Temporal Warriors or the Battle Magus (who are warriors first, mages second). Another example is any character that casts magic through another being's power, such as a Priest, Witch, or the HU2 Mystically Bestowed character. There are also magic items, amulets, and talismans that may require the use of one's own P.P.E. to activate the magic. In all these cases, and in any case where the character is not primarily a mage of some kind, the person can only channel 3 P.P.E. per level per action.
      1. This is simply due to lack of training, often years of training in the case of most spell-casters. They simply aren't "in tune" with magic and aren't as disciplined or practiced. This penalty also applies to people who are not mages but can recharge Techno-Wizard devices. Psychics can always pump in I.S.P. in a single action (when applicable), but are subject to this penalty if using P.P.E. to power a device.
    4. Supernatural creatures (demons, sub-demons, godlings, demi-gods, and most creatures with natural magical abilities) can channel an extra two P.P.E. per level per action.
    5. Creatures of magic (dragons, faeries, etc.), gods, and supernatural intelligences can channel an extra five P.P.E. per level per action.
    6. When casting ritually, including Techno-Wizards who are building their magic items, these rules do not apply, as the rituals generally have a large time frame, commonly 15 to 90 minutes, already built into them.
  2. The Techno-Wizard is able to create a number of magic items usable by anyone, not just mages or psychics. Many of these will probably be adapted from D&D3.5, so if anyone wants one please ask me. Note that I may say "no" to an item, so please no arguing, whining, pleading, begging, or attempts at bribery when I deny or veto items.
    1. For quick reference, 1 D&D3.5 sp is equal to 10 Coalition credits.