If you missed the previous posts I made earlier this week, I have been posting about Rifts and Palladium Books all week. Check out the posts that lead up this this final post of the week:
Palladium’s strongest point is by far the world building they did with Rifts and the endless possibilities available in their game system. At the end of the day, I do not know if Palladium will go much further than they have already gone if they do not change directions. They really have not changed much in the last 30 to 40 years. Palladium still does things in a style that is not very in line with what is currently popular. For those of us who have been playing RPGs for a long time now a lot of that might not matter as much, but in a market where game books are flashy and full color on every page this is not the most popular. I prefer Black & White print in books, that is not the current trend, but Palladium books have kept with the same B&W printing style they have always used. I appreciate that.
Many have expressed concerns about the system needing updated. I do not think it would hurt to try and streamline and simplify the system in a new edition. On the other hand, I have always become frustrated with new editions making all my old books obsolete if I want to keep buying the new books, so I have to say that I really appreciate there are not lots of new editions of the games and they have all been compatible and the books I bought 30+ years ago still work with the books they are publishing today. That is what I want from other game companies.
At the same time game companies do release simplified and adjusted rulesets and new editions to boost the sales of a game and to use as a jumping on point for the system. This seems to me often to be a mostly business decision. I appreciate that has not been the thing Palladium has gone to, but it really would not hurt them to do so. In an environment where print to order books are pretty common, there is no reason the entire library of older books could just be offered on something like DriveThruRPG as Print on Demand as they release a new edition appealing to the modern trends just might really benefit Palladium and the future of Rifts. If I had any say I would look at putting out a Year Zero Engine version of Rifts to reach a newer and younger audience.
The one thing I honestly believe would benefit the current Palladium system is opening the system up with an open game license. The company has been overly defensive of intellectual properties. If the Palladium system allowed third party publishers through an Open Game License like so many other systems of the 21st century it could benefit a great deal. Fan published content could only go to help in getting more people involved in the Palladium System. Seeing variants of the system and rules options like we see with other games such as Black Hack would be amazing to have for the Palladium system. The lack of an Open Game License has really held back the system and the potential the system has. Seeing the community expand and build on the system would not only help to fine tune it and improve it, but also would help keep interest in the system from all the potential kickstarters and independent publications keeping the Palladium games more in the limelight. This could lead to being able to use new emerging ideas from the community on a possible new edition of the system that has learned and improved by following the innovations that prove to be popular.
In the end, I love my palladium games and I strongly suggest playing around in the Rifts sandbox and letting your imagination go wild. Check out Palladium books either on their webstore, or at DriveThruRPG. This wraps up my week of Palladium posts. I will hopefully make more posts about Rifts and Palladium in upcoming posts. If you have any questions or things you would like to see answered or addressed about Palladium or Rifts, just let me know and I’d love to address those things.