YMMV / Rifts

  • Broken Base: Between the Fandom, the constant calls it was ruined following any new Sourcebook, rules change, the rules not changing for decades, or Canon Defilement (perceived or real)... and the occasional (rare) rational disagreement over an issue related to the game or setting... the Rifts fanbase has split more times than a sequoia's root system.
  • Critical Research Failure: The first Sourcebook, now called Sourcebook One, had an animal/monster race called the Ostrosaurus. In the description, they note that despite the name, it's not a lizard like a dinosaur, but closer to a featherless bird. The irony kicks in with the realization that Theropods, which the Ostrosaurus resembles, essentially were featherless birds. Or more accurately, birds are feathered dinosaurs. Or, even more more accurately, birds are dinosaurs with (perhaps) a few more feathers.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: For all the atrocities they commit, the Coalition can be surprisingly easy to sympathize with. After all, the vast majority of the world's problems actually are caused by magic and/or creatures from other dimensions. If it weren't for their zero tolerance policies and ceaseless propaganda, they would easily come off as The Federation. Specific examples include:
    • The introduction to the second book in the Siege on Tolkeen series. Siembieda states flat out that "die-hard fans of the Coalition" will probably be displeased with the way the CS is portrayed in this book. But nothing in the book is coming out of nowhere, it all fits previously-established techniques and doctrines used by the CS for decades now.
    • On at least two occasions CS troopers have saved the life of Erin Tarn (admittedly not knowing who she was other than an old human lady) from monstrous threats. It is actually possible for CS characters to be Lawful Good, because so much of the world around them is filled with evil monsters, while they themselves are deliberately undereducated and ignorant of politics. Thus they do not know enough to realize their government is evil until it really gets rubbed in their faces.
  • Funny Moment: Just the fact that Death's steed is named Bones, really.
  • Game-Breaker: If the character you are playing doesn't break the game in some way, shape, or form, you're doing it wrong.
    • The Glitter Boys get most of the heat for this trope for being a clear author favorite. Palladium tries to make out that they're just Mighty Glaciers, but seem to forget that the Glitter Boy can still travel 60 MPH and has a gun with a range of 2 miles which is only slow by mech standards. Moreover, Rifts combat is far too abstract for anyone to take advantage of flanking or the Glitter Boy needing to stand and plant before firing.
    • There are several other game breaker classes, including the Godling, the Cosmo-Knight, the Elder Magelord, and the Cosmic Being.
    • The Carpet of Adhesion spell is broken because there is effectively no saving throw. If you're caught in the carpet, you're stuck. That's it, no way out.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The Chinese military claims to have invented anti-laser coatings made of "rare earths, carbon fiber, silver, and diamonds that have been processed to fine sheens and tailored against specific laser weapon systems". Yes, they claim to have made Glitter Boy armor (mostly for ships but the principle is the same). Link here.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Karl Prosek, Emperor of the Coalition, and his son Joseph, who if anything is worse.
  • Mainstream Obscurity: Within the RPG community, Rifts has a reputation of "the most popular game that no one plays." It's Palladium's most popular game, and people are very fond of its artwork and setting, but there are very few gaming groups out there regularly playing it.
  • Memetic Mutation: MOAR MEGADAMAGE!
  • Misaimed Fandom: The Coalition States provokes arguments about this: some hold they cannot possibly be good, others note that integration is effectively impossible so they just might be what they claim.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • Some of the things done by Alien Intelligences, Atlantis, Dark Mages, Cults, Evil Gods, Mad Scientists, and the various versions of The Empire are often damned sick and horrifying even by RPG standards!
    • There's some stuff, like the Soul Harvesters (guess what they do) from Psyscape, which is so disturbing that the book has a disclaimer right before that section warning off folks with timid sensibilities.
    • The artwork and concepts of the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in the Africa world book.
    • The mutants in Madhaven. Their freaky appearance is bad enough until you remember that they're all descended from humans.
  • Protection from Editors: More like "Kevin doesn't hire any editors," leading to occasional Rouge Angles of Satin, Author Filibusters and playtest anecdotes filling up space in the books. If you come upon something that doesn't quite meet that standard, chances are it was drawn by Siembieda himself. Before their divorce, Kevin's wife Maryanne was usually listed as the editor. One wonders if she did anything beyond typesetting and posing for various pictures.
  • Strawman Has a Point: the Coalition States is portrayed as a nazi-esque pro-tech anti-magic big bad who are racist against aliens/psychics/mages. Their views are promoted as being irrationally paranoid and intolerant. Actually examining the powers and abilities of something like a dragon or a high-powered psychic makes them sound a lot more sane. People who have played a lot of Rifts tend to slowly drift towards the Coalition's viewpoint that the possession of certain powersets makes you a constant threat to everyone around you, and you should be treated as such.
    • Exposure to a Nonhuman Tactical Strike/Elimination Team campaign aka Supernatural SWAT, which is basically a crash course in just how bad things can get in this department, tends to radically alter the views of players about how much of the Coalition is crazy.
    • However, this trope can be subverted with being more on Villain Has a Point, due to NGR and Lazlo having aspects that are many examples of sane and benevolent non-humans and magic along with both of them having better standards of living compared to Coalition States' highly stratified class system that persecute intellectuals and their campaigns in the name of human superiority. Not to mention that Coalition States used to be better (at least allow magic and democratic governance) until Karl Prosek's regime.
  • Word of God: System creator Kevin Siembeda enjoys his ability to state what is and isn't canon. He isn't like a lot of other RPG authors who suggest the GM should do whatever they please: the books contain notes and pointers on what to do as footnotes.
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