Saturday, March 8, 2014

Breachworld: Don't Call It Rifts

In my last Rifts:2112 post, I talked about filing the serial numbers off of Rifts and simply running a magic-infused, post-apocalyptic science-fantasy setting. Well, it looks like I've been beaten to the punch, and by an established Palladium freelancer, no less!

Jason Richards has just launched a Kickstarter for a game called Breachworld.
Earth's society reached its peak thanks to the establishment of a network of Gates that connected all corners of the globe, creating a unified, global village that thrived on science, technology, and cultural exchange. When the Gates began to malfunction, no one could see the disaster just around the bend. Then the Gates split their terrestrial pairings and formed permanent Breaches in space-time, and alien beings, monsters, and environments poured through and became trapped on Earth's dimensional shores.
Sounds pretty familiar, eh? Fortunately, there's an endorsement from none other than Kevin Siembieda himself at the top of the Kickstarter page, so I guess enough IP has been changed that the threat of a lawsuit is not in the cards.

I'm pretty excited about this, actually. It uses a variant of the OGL Open d6 system, which means it's much more tinker-friendly than Rifts, and seems to have a nice set of baseline assumptions pretty close to where I've been going with my own musings. This is probably about as close to a "Rifts retro-clone" as we're likely to get, and I think it could be a launchpad for a bunch of peoples' "alternate takes on Rifts."

Although the blurb emphasizes that Breachworld will retain Rifts' open-ended, "whatever you want to do is cool" approach to campaign style, it also has a nice little baked-in "default" campaign centered around trying to seal up rifts breaches, which strikes me as a great framework and definitely addresses one of Rifts' weaknesses, which is that it's sometimes too open-ended.

I've backed the KS and am looking forward to getting my hands on the game and seeing if it could be the sort of toolbox that would enable me to continue developing (and even, gasp, playing in) the sort of setting that's very near and dear to my heart. My only complaint right now is the logo, which kind of looks like it belongs on a surfboard. Oh well, can't win 'em all...


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