Rifts: Lemuria review

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Rifts: Lemuria review

Never trust the dice

Lemuria is the 32nd world book for the Rifts RPG released by Palladium books. I do like Rifts but i have always struggled with the vast divergence of genre's that make up the Rifts setting. I fully appreciate and understand why such a collection appeals to people. To some the constant uncertainty as to what they will face whether it be a powered armored soldier, a mage or a dragon is an exciting prospect. There are GM's who have towns filled with hi-tech soldiers next to Pan dimensional intergalactic beings. There is nothing at all wrong with that if the GM and players dig it and can make it work. I just don't seem to be able to mix the genre's in such a way that I am happy with the outcome.

My personal game tends to be either a Fallout type after the bomb style or making Rifts into a more galaxy sprawling setting. In both styles I have not used magic or dragons, but never say never. I got Lemuria to fit into my galaxy sprawling idea. Human colonies are across the galaxies and some of the more alien style books fit well into that. Atlantis for an example works very well. I had an idea for a more water based planet and Lemuria is very well suited to that.

The good thing is very little needs to be changed in order for it to all work. The beliefs of the Lemurians does not need to be changed, their gear works just as well and only minor tweaking is needed. That is one strength of Rifts and it must be a big one as its both a very long running game and has a stockpile of books. There are some cool elements that can be used to enhance a ocean area of a Rifts game. The floating city information I found useful as well as interesting. They also have connections to the Easter Island statues which can make a interesting twist for the players. I didn't use the agriculture section but its still well thought out and could be used as a plot device. Threats to their food links and so on. As they are a peaceful and isolated people (though willing to defend themselves when need be) it could be a way to get the players involved especially if the threat to their food source is something they don't understand as well as the players do.

There are a selection of new character classes to play. They are all marine based and range from creatures resembling sea life through to their take on Mermen and women. They are all very cool but feel somewhat limited due to their aquatic nature. The Lemurians are probably the most useful and would fit within a party okay. Possibly on a spiritual journey of learning. There is a small collection of new skills added. They are as one would expect all related to water based endeavours but they are a welcome addition nonetheless. The section on biomancy and their magic is quite large. For those players who go for the more mystical classes they could well find something of use here. A flexible GM may allow a pc to learn some of the spells and give the pc's a reason to seek the Lemurians out.

For the tech lovers you may be disappointed. There is a decent section on armor and gear, but all of Lemuria is their connection to nature so their tech is bio-mechanical. I found it interesting reading and some clever ideas but for those who like the mechs and powered armor side of things there is nothing here. The remainder of the book is filled with the many creatures of the deep. Its not an exhaustive list but there are quite a few listed and many with art which is above the usual Rifts standard. At the end of the day I am not sure how often I will use this book. But I think it was still a worthy buy.