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  • Awesome Art: While most aspects of the game, from the mechanics to character creation, have received moderate levels of criticism over the years most folks agree that the art is generally fantastic, especially the cover illustrations. One of the main reasons to pick up the original Rifts game book is a series of full color art pages depicting the Coalition States, ley lines, D-Bees and much more in exquisite detail.
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  • 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.
  • Creator's Pet: The designers love the Glitter Boys — the initial name for the game was going to be their original name (“Boomers”, after their guns). Numerous books will have references to them, and countries from all over have access to Glitter Boy technology (said to be very rare) — Japan, the NGR, and more all have their own variations.
    • True Atlanteans were a big part of Rifts Atlantis, and mentions of them are everywhere in later books. Most things mentioning human modification make note of them.
    • Insanity and Insanity Tables. KS is definitely a huge fan of the idea of a crazy hero, as every Palladium game includes random tables for specific insanities. Many classes are expected to have some insanity to them. Many players are expected to be cackling madmen or have crippling phobias. How annoying this might be to play across from at the table is never brought up.
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  • 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.
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    • 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.
  • Enjoy the Story, Skip the Game: Probably one of the most famous examples in tabletop gaming history if not gaming history in general. While the game has plenty of dedicated fans most people seem to buy the books more for their impressive artwork, deep lore and cool gear rather than the actual gameplay mechanics. This has earned Rifts the title of "Most Popular Game That Nobody Plays" in some RPG fandoms.
  • 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.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: World Book 9(South America 2) has an American armored calvary unit at war in the Iraqi desert in the then-future year of 2004 when they get kidnapped by aliens. Yeah, they weren't that far off the mark, were they?
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Narm Charm: Honestly, the game runs on this. It's a mix of absolutely every single thing that, say, a twelve-year-old boy would think was cool, all crammed together, turned Up to Eleven and treated as absolute Serious Business. It's impossible to look at it without laughing, but very hard to not simultaneously be charmed by how sincere it is in its inanity.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Has its own page.
  • Protection from Editors: More like "Kevin Siembieda 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.
    • Of note, ‘’Rifts Atlantis’’ says that High Lords can be Bio-Wizards, with a note to “see new O.C.C.” Apparently there was supposed to be one, but there is not.
    • A few books contain some very odd type-setting, including tiny slivers of text at the top corner and a ‘’huge’’ picture taking up the rest of the page, or a small paragraph and a small picture being the only things visible on another.
  • 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.
    • 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 instill widespread illiteracy (excluding state-sponsored scientists and sizable numbers from upper echelons of the government) 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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