Rifts: Japan

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Rifts: Japan

Never trust the dice

Of all the Rifts World Books I own I would have to say the one I like best is Japan. I'm not going to say its the best written or the best book overall. Merely that it is the best book for my style of game. Japan can be a difficult play to write about. Its a mix of old and new that doesn't exist much outside of Asia and its not something we Westerners always grasp at all well. Rifts Japan does (for the scope of the book) a fair job of trying to make the Japan of the Rifts setting to be consistent to itself at least. With so many books and so many different classes and concepts I am not sure how consistent Rifts is overall. It could well be fine. This book works so well for me as it suits my style of game as well as general things I enjoy.

We have a fair amount of new armor and gear. From cyborg to robots to guns. There really is a good amount of new kit this time. This is one area of books I am often unhappy with. Either not enough new gear or when there is new gear there is at times no art so no one has any idea what it looks like. Cool on one hand as it lets people create it themselves but as we are creating the stories I really don't mind them showing me what the gear is like. Rifts Japan has a lot of art. It also comes with a fair few new classes.

Sure some are probably minor tweaks of existing ones but its still nice all the same. The revival of Bushido in Rifts Japan opened the doorway for all the old stereotypes to return. Sohei, Ninja, Samurai and so on. For the most part I like them. The one area here where Rifts openness actually does work in its favor. Samurai the “true” Samurai as they referred to in the book would be utterly destroyed in the MDC environment of Rifts. But the allocation of magic has made both Sword and Armor MDC. The Ronin and Ninja could be quite a lot of fun to play as well. I think you might need a cool GM to really let one of these classes shine in a game. But if you have a good GM then playing a Ronin could well be a blast. This is one book I have no hesitation of picking up on a regular basis.