Taking a page from Scott's Wilderlands OD&D--and since I'm shifting the setting over to a new system--I've decided to put my own personal spin on the world of Rifts, making it a bit more "Gamma World" in flavor.
For one thing, I've decided to have the timeline reflect the "post-apocalyptic" calendar literally--it has been only 100 years since the Great Cataclysm, rather than the 100 years plus the three to four century "Dark Ages" in the canonical setting. The more I thought about it, the less need I saw for those Dark Ages, and placing the Cataclysm closer to the current time allows a distinctly more post-apocalyptic flavor to overshadow the game, definitely a good thing in my book.
I'm also playing around with the world's geography. I've decided that Atlantis shouldn't have all fun, and to bring back all the legendary sunken lands of myth: Lemuria (which I'm placing in the Pacific, near Easter Island), Mu (in the Indian Ocean), Ys (off of Brittany), and Lyonesse (a new addition to the British Isles). With all these new land masses, I went ahead and raised the water level that much more, resulting in a satisfyingly re-made coastline.
I also decided to make a proper sand box map, with 100 mile hexes that I can then detail individually using the good ol' Wilderlands hex maps. The results:
I'll post more thoughts on my changes to the world as I get into my conversion work.
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