Of course, all characters have some type of training, skills, orientation that help direct the hero's life and adventures. Usually, these aspects of a character are developed by selecting an Occupational Character Class or O.C.C. The O.C.C. works great in most cases, however, in Rifts there are some unique creatures where an O.C.C. doesn't quite fit. These creatures fall into a more general Racial classification, with skills and orientation based on racial characteristics and unusual powers rather than a typical human occupation.
The result being the introduction of the Racial Character Classes (R.C.C.). The R.C.C.'s are non-human beings with unique natural abilities and limited human-type skills. I think you will find them satisfactorily exciting.
The most civilized and powerful of the three canine races is the Wolfen. The wolfen were a fierce warrior people divided into 12 warring tribes. Their constant infighting and their insistance on clinging to barbaric warrior wars, held them back for centuries. However, in the last few decades the wolfen tribes have united and have quickly grown into a well organized, disciplines and orderly society. They still hold to the ways of the warrior, but have developed into a sophisticated military machine, extremely reminiscent of the ancient Romans of Earth.
Although the humans and many other races on their home planet see the wolfen as barbaric, children eating monsters, it is not true. The wolfen are as intelligent, compassionate and civilized as the humans of the same era. This belief is perpetuated out of the humans' own ignorance, hatred, bloody confrontations of the past, and same sense of superiority that led to the demise of the elves and dwarves as the dominant life forms. As humans began to settle the northern portions of the continent they encountered the territorial wolfen. As a warrior people, the wolfen reacted to these settlers and explorers as invaders, and killed them in fair combat.
Many are the stories of bloody and gruesome battles and wolfen atrocities, including wolfen warriors tearing out their victim's heart and eating it, decapitation, impalement, and eating babies and children. Only the latter is pure fiction. As a political manuever, the wolfen have been painted as totally inhuman monsters and an enemy of humankind. After all, if the wolfen are horrid monsters, it is okay to invade their lands and slaughter their people in the name of peace and self-defense. Unfortunately, the unified wolfen, with their superior size and strength, are becoming a powerful military force. If the animosityt and agression continues on the part of both humans and wolfen, a terrible war is inevitable. Indeed, a bloody conflict between these two may be unavoidable as they both vie to dominate the land. Only time will tell.
The coyles are the smaller cousins of the wolfen and refuse to join the wolfen's quest for civilization and cultural advancement. Coyles, like the wolfen of only a few decades past, still roam in large, indvidual tribes that often war and bicker amongst themselves; usually over such trifles as which tribe has the best warriors, or the msot warriors, or the best leaders, or the wisest shaman, prettiest women, and so on. They are wild, aggressive, carefree, rebellious and barbaric compared to their wolfen cousins, and are a constant source of consternation to the WOlfen Empire. The coyles operate in large, loose-knight tribes and engage in a lifestyle of raiding and murder Coyles view themselves, and to a lesser extent, the wolfen and kankoran, as the chosen people of the world. Consequently, a coyle doesn't recognize the rights of any creature who isn't a canine. Stealing from or killing members of other races is no crime under any circumstances
The coyles are particularly dangerous vecayse if their skill as warriors. Their superior physical prowess combined with a sharp intellect and wild, daring tactics, makes them a respectable fighting force. Coyles are also known for their tactical leadership in battle, engaging in ambush, flanking attacks and feints. These tactics make them far superior to most other sub-human troops in their former world and equal to humans. Even elven and human commanders have been humbled by superior coyle tactics. For example, coyles disdain heavy armor and delight in drawing knights in plate mail into pitfalls and traps.
Generally, wolfen look upon their cousins as barbarians who foolishly cling to their old ways. Renegade coyles andcoyle tribes are moving ever southward to avoid the wolfen government. Unfortunately, this has led to increasing conflict with humans, especially the Eastern Territory, and is largely responsible for the stories of wolfen acrocities, for, to human eyes, coyles and wolfen are one and the same. This is a tragic mistake, as most wolfen view the coyles' acts of savagery with equal disdain While the wolfen, even during their days of barbarism were generally noble and fair warriors, the coyles have alwaysdelighted in torture and massacres. The coyles are frequenyly aware of their mistaken identityand pretend to be wolfen, creating trouble for their wolfen kin and escalating hatred among humans. Fortunately, coyle raiding parties rarely number more than one hundred.
The Kankoran believe in living a simple life as hunters. They are at harmony with nature and fiercely protective of their remote wilderness habitat. Although a gentle, loving and compassionate people, their society is anything but easy. As the young enter adulthood they are required to go through a rite of passage. This varies according to the tribe and the location. Typically, it involved the young kankoran living alone, off the land, for six months to a year. Even more severe is the rite of the Emirin Tribe of kankoran. Theirs is a rite of combat where two young kankoran must seek out a single young emirin and battle it to the death. Since it's a very even battle, the emirin approve of this ritual.
These rites of passage are crucial to kankoran society. All kankoran have names that reflect their rite. For example: Left-Side-Wound, Mountain Shadow, and Knife Handle are typical kankoran names. Kankoran call scars "stripes," and respect anyone with an impressive collection.
Kankoran have a rather naive view of other creatures. Wolfen, humans, and other usb-humans are considered to be "Children," unless they can show that they know how to take care of themselves in the wilderness. Outsiders who subject themselves to a rite of passage can be completely accepted as a fellow kankoran. It is not unusual for kankoran to adopt stray children of any race. One of the great legends of the kankoran is that they were created by the elves in the distant past. For this reason they respect elves and will go out of their way to help them. They also get along with most of the gentler faerie folk and elemental spirits.
Centaurs & Cyber-Horsemen
The centaur is a creature of legend from Earth's ancient past, so perhaps these strange beings have visited the planet before. Beings who are half-man and half-horse. Their origin is lost to antiquity.
ON the former world the centaur is a fearsome plains warrior whose people gather in tribes of 40 to 60 members. They are a nomadic people who dislike staying in any one place longer than a season. Although they are good craftsmen, they rarely have access to a proper hearth or tools. The former centaur is a dying breed, succumbing to the superior numbers and weapons of both man and wolfen.
The centaurs of Rifts Earth have come from both the former world and another, more advanced world of unknown origin. The former tend to be warriors, men of arms, and rangers/wilderness scouts. The latter are familiar with energy weapons, mega-damage armor, cybernetics and bionics. these civilized centaurs are also known as the Cyber-Horsement of simple as "the Horsement," and are viewed with great suspicion, especially by the Coalition.
The first cyber-horsemen were recorded about 30 years ago, around 73 P.A. At first they were believed to be strange bots or mutant animals, but now it is known that they are a race of technologically advanced centaurs. Their tech level appears to be several degrees less than the Coalition's, although they have mastered the sciences of cybernetics and mega-damage alloys. Rumor is it that the cyber-horsemen have built a city called Ixion (eye-zon) somewhere in the northern plains of Canada. Here, it is said, all centaurs, mutant animals and the persecuted as welcome. So far, no human has found any any trace of the city.
Most centaurs and cyber-horsemen have become suspicious of all other races. However, once befriended, they will remain loyal for life. Centaurs are also magnificent hunters, archers, and woodworkers.
Centaurs are somehow linked to nature and are free spirits, driven to advanture and wandering. They can not live in captivity. Even a few weeks in chains may kill them or drive them to make desperate attempts to escape. Nevertheless, many cruel and greedy individuals have attempted to enslave them both for labor and entertainment in the gladiatorial arena. Sadly, their animal visage has lead many to thihnk of the centaur as an animal.
Changelings are an ancient race of shape changers universally feared and hunted by all other races of their former world, except elves. But even elves exhibit caution and suspicion when dealing with a changeling. They are feared because they can assume the shape of any humanoid and are so skilled with their shape changing ability that they can imitate specific people perfectly. Thus they make the ideal assassin, spy, and invader. Legend is rife with yarns of evil acts and claims that changelongs once plotted the destruction of other races by assuming their shape and slaying them in their sleep. As a resylt, all races engaged in mass genocide of the fiends, actively hunting them down and destroying them wherever they were found.
Currently in their former world, it is believed that chanegelings no longer exist. However, a few thousand are scattered throughout the world, careful to disguise themselves as other humanoids. The changeling's natural form is a thin, seven foot tall, hairless humanoid with pale yellow skin. however, height, complexion, apparent age, and racial features can all be changd with a thought. This makes it virtually impossible to idenytify a changeling that's disguised as a different life form. Even their aura is too similar to human and elf to be conclusive evidence. Their high mental endurance makes other psionic probes difficult. They do have some physical traits that can be telling to a trained eye. Changelings have a weak constitution so they tire easily and are more susceptible to disease. They are also comparatively slow moving. But the most telling sign is that they cannot eat salt. Comsuming sold will make a cangeling nauseous, lasting 1D4+2 hours.
Dragons are very strange and powerful creatures by human standards. Until the rifts changed everything, dragons were relegated to human myth and fantasy. However, humans now know that the dragons are very real.
Dragons are not indigenous to Earth, but are beings from an unknown dimension. They seem to have left behind any home world they may have had in favor of trans-dimensional exploration, for dragons have been found to inhabit numerous worlds and dimensions. As creatures of magic, they are inexorably drawn to realms where magic energy is high. The Earth of Rifts is overflowing with magic energy, so they come.
Dragons have no apparent society nor feeling of kinship, even among the same species. They act with complete autonomy from one another, with no laws, ethics, or codes of conduct shared by any. Each does she he pleases independent of the other. There is seldom any camaraderie or even pleasantries exchanged between dragons. Except for mated pairs, dragons tend to shun the company of fellow dragons. Even offspring are left to fend for themselves a few days after hatching.
There are many reasons for this antisocial behavior. Dragons have abandoned society eons ago. The why is simple, they didn't need one. Dragons are unimaginably powerful, especially one worlds like Earth where magic energy is in abundance. They are nearly indestructible, they can heal and regenerate within hours, live for thousands of years, breathe fire, possess monstrous strength, can change their physical forms at will, instinctively know how to channel and use mythic energy, and can shift from one dimension to another. Other than a fellow dragon, and perhaps other intelligent life forms, these powerful beings have no natural enemies. Their longevity provides them with the time to become incredibly knowledgeable and powerful as they learn to use their natural strengths and abilities, as well as a limited use of technology.
The ability to traverse different dimensions makes them creatures of the universe, and not any one world. It is probable that dragons don't originate in our galaxy and may be a wandering race of beings from the edge of the universe. Who knows? The dragons don't.
It is apparent that dragons have visited Earth many times as its magic energies swelled and ebbed over the passing millennia. It is equally plausible to believe that some of the ancient gods of primitive, pre-Rifts, Earth were not myth but did exist, perhaps as dragons who adopted a human form or toyed with the amusing little humans. Zeus, Thor, Isis, and all the rest, dragons of a bygone era. But out concerns are with the dragons of today.
Although creatures of magic are the embodiment of immense power, dragons should not be viewed as gods. Like most things, there are reasonable explanations, origins, actions and reactions. Here are the simple facts about dragons.
As previously stated, they are an otherworldly species of animal, just like humans, and are in fact, mammals. Like humans, they are predators, aggressive and territorial. Unlike humans, they lack society and without it, the laws and mores that society generates. This explains, in part, the lack of uniform behavior among different dragons of the same species. Since they do not frequently intermingle among their own kind, they develop their sense of ethics, loves, likes and dislikes from their associations with other, non-dragon, races. They observe and adopt the morals that appeal to them.
The giant serpents are also similar to humans in their expression of emotions and in their capacity for good or evil. The environment and experiences of a hatchling will shape the way the dragon grows, both emotionally and idealistically. The bestial, ravaging savages are spawned from a life of conflict, with little or no contact with other intelligent beings. They become more animalistic, mean, extremely aggressive, and territorial. For them, might is right and they might be the mightiest. They live for confrontation and combat.
By contrast, those who have had a great deal of contact with intelligent life may have adopted recognizable ethics (and alignments), whether they be good or evil, friendly or manipulative. These serpents will exhibit decidedly more human emotions, morals, and quirks. Some will view the universe with compassion and love, respecting all life in its myriad forms. These are the peaceful and good dragons. Unfortunately, eons of life and cynicism can create the monsters most men know dragons to be. These are the ancient, vindictive schemers who have grown cold and jaded over the passage of time. Terrible beasts who have become either so removed from the other beings, or so bitter and hate filled, that they view all creatures as lesser animals or playthings to occupy their time. They can be unbelievably sadistic, twisted, and unspeakably evil. These nefarious fiends kill, maim, and torment for the sheer pleasure. They occupy their boredom with cruel and damaging schemes that will hurt others, but entertain themselves. They crave and gather magic and power, but use that power only to inflict more torment, creature more hate, more pain. Humans are a favorite plaything, and the situation on the rift torn Earth, with its many intelligent creatures, mutants, and monsters, has only served to make the game more interesting.
Dwarves are a race of short, powerfully built, subterranean people who once built fabulous underground cities, held the secrets of rune and summoning magic, and co-ruled the former world in the shadow of the elves. For thousands of eyars they suffered what was first the biting wit and sarcasm of the elves. For thousands more they endured numerous forms of humilition and degradation at the hands of the arrogant elves. Eventually, a senseless feud erupted into an insane war that would crush both elf and dwarf in a blood bath that would span centuried. Toward the end, the dwarves, desperate to turn the tied of a battle they were finally losing, turned to supernatural and demonc forced of magic. Forces that, in the end, would see the greatest dwarven kindgoms annihilated through their own folly.
Today, in their former world, there is said to be little over a million dwarves and even a few of the last, great subterranean kingdoms, nestled in the mountains of the Old Kingdom. But since their glory days of long ago, the dwarves have lost the secrets of Rune Magic and have abandoned the pursuit of all magic so that they will never again unleash its terrible forced. Instread, they have turned to perfecting their art as the world's greatest weapon and armor smiths and the arts of combat.
Perhaps to no one's surprise, dwarves, in the world of Rifts, are attracted to warrior O.C.C.'s, high-tech weapons, and the craft of building and modifying weapons. This is especially true to those born on Rifts Earth. These second and third generation Earth dwarves are often masterful operators, skilled city rats, headhunters and borgs (G.M. Note: Yes, DWARF-BORGS). Some have even dared to study the mystic craft of techno-wizardry which very much harkens back to the ancient time of Rune Magic. An occupation that elves, and many tradition minded dwarves, find terribly disturbing.
The reptilian eandroth race may have been the result of some strange magical experiment or creatured of another dimension brought to the former world by a summoner's circle or dimensional rift.
The young eandroth matures quickly and eaches physical adolescence by the age of six begin a life as a hunter in the great deserts of the world. For the first 24 hours of their lives they appear as short, thin, hairless, youthful, smooth skinned, humanoids that resemble humanlike theropod dinosaurs. After this age they begin to bulk up and show muscular definition.
All of eandroth under the age of 25 are rather childlike and solitary in character. They are a good-hearted, honest, caring, jovial people, except during the violent mating period. Tribes are typically small, with 50 members or less. Other than their desert survival skills, they are only capable of learning Men of Arms O.C.C.'s.
Those eandroth, male and female, who survive 50 or so mating seasons (25 years) undergo a dramatic biological change. The body becomes much more muscular, height increases a few inches, the skin becomes loose and wrinkled, certain attributes increase. The earndroth's previous gentle temper is replaced by a far more aggressive, bellicose and intolerant disosition due to the change in body chemistry. The changed ones are called "rogues." These rogues are much tougher, meaner, and smarter than the young eandroth and are feared by their own kind.
Their mating habits can be lethal. at mating season (twice yearly), the males, who outnumber the females by some eight to one, go through ritual combat in an attempt to gain the right to mate with the females. Although ritual combat, this contest can become startlingly fierce and every season sees about 20% of th overcrowded male population slain. Mating season lasts about two weeks. Young are born live after a three month gestation period. Only one infant is born at a time.
The race of handsome humanoids known as elves, has been a dominant force on the former world for eons. They are one of the so-called archaic races tht survived the Age of Chaos during the time of the Old Ones' rulership. They grew out of the Age of Chaos to become one of two fabular races, the other being the dwarces, that would take control over a savage world and bring it to peace and culture. Right behind them in scope, power and grandeur were the dwarves. But arrogance, greed, and petty prejudice would bring the two super powers into a bloody, centuries long, war that would obliterate both races.
Today, the elves and dwarves of the former world have lost much in the way of magic, knowledge, powe and people. The population, which once numbered nearly a hundred million, is suspected to be less than three million. There are no known elven kingdoms nor even a town that is predominately elven. Instead, the elves have taken to wandering the world, helping, counseling to, and adventuring with the humans, whom they see as heirs apparent of the world they once ruled. In the largest human cities one can sometimes find as many as a thousand or more elves living among them.
Readers should not assume that all elves are kind to serve as benovolent mentors to humans, for many are the elven adventurers, lords and scoudnrels who seek only personal glory and power. They simply find humans to be the most worthy of their presence and aid than others. This is in part, because the two races share man similarities in physical appearance, size, intellect, and capacity for cunningness and savagery. Elvens genuinely like humans very much.
Goblins and orcs are among the most common of the sub-human races on the former world and are known to exist on several other worlds, including ancient Earth, probably gaining access to them through dimensional rifts at ley line nexuses, or as the minions of a powerful wielder of magic, shifter, summoner, or supernatural being. They are distant cousins to the smaller and magical faerie folk, but most lack any mystic or innate powers themselves. This may be the result of evolution or genetic mutation. ONly the cobbler goblin, one in twenty, possesses faerie-like magic powers.
Goblins are generally mean spirited, vindictive, and cruel people. The typical goblin society operates on the principle of the strong preying upon the weak, in a shabby, loose-knit tribal unit that can number into the hundreds or thousands. Other dumb and mean beings are also typically including among the tribe's members, particularly orcs and hob-goblins. A warrior chief rules the tribe, assisted by a war cheif (second in command) and a shaman or clergy (third in command) and members of his family and cobblers. Goblins and orcs will frequently associate with evil creatures of magic or supernatural monsters, gladly striking out at the larger and handsomer races.
The Kremin are alien cyborgs who came through a Rift to explore the planet. They are fascinated by magic and the multitude of alien life forms. They have only just begu to explore other worlds through their own fledgling experiments in spanning space and time through dimensional travel. Rifts Earth being something of a dimensional vortex, drew the explorers to it. however, their last communique with their homeworld, minutes after their arrival on Earth, indicated that their dimensional portal was tearing itself apart and that it would be a while before repairs could be made to get it back on-line. The cyborgs explorers were on their own. The Kremin 'Borgs are confident that their comrades will some day reopen the dimensional door and rescue them. TIll then, be it months, years, or decades, they continue their mission to explore strange new worlds and civilizations, to boldy go where no Kremin has gone before!
The exact goals of the Kremin are unknown. They claim to be ambassadors from a peaceful world with the purpose of making contact with other civilizations to exchange ideas, art, technology, and resources. Although they claim to be peace loving, they don't seem to be taken aback by the violence and turmoil of Rifts Earth. However, most Kremin fight only in self-defense and seem to try to avoid direct contact or alliances with any of the planet's inhabitants, human or D-bee --- they simply serve. While this may support their claims of being peace loving, nobody really knows anything about them. All that is truly known is that they are bionically augmented beings similar to humans, the tech level of their bionic systems are slightly more advanced than Triax, and they are presumably from another dimension. The Coalition States have declared them to be dangerous alien invaders and has issued a standing order to destroy all Kremin on sight. As a result, the alien 'Borgs have fled the CS territories and can be found scattered throughout the rest of the continent, particularly in the western wilderness, Texas, Minnesota, Free Quebec, and Michigan. Whether they are friend or foe is yet to be determined.
Note: Only three dozen Kremin Cyborgs are believed to have come to Rifts Earth. The CS has already destroyed nine, dissecting and studying several --- that's how they know the approximate tech-level of the bionic systems.
N'mbyr Gorilla Man
The N'mbyr (pronounced Nim Beer) are nicknamed "Gorilla Man" because they resemble Earth Gorilla's or apes. Their facial features are simian, and their arms are long and powerful, their legs comparatively short which contributes to the illusion of being related to Earth apes. They are an aggressive and strong people, giving to intense emotions and destructive fits of anger. Their powerful bodies and upper body strength make them excellent for construction work, lifting, carrying, and general labor. They also make excellant climbers and warriors. They enjoy hard labor, sports (particularly wrestling and football), and physical challenges. Most are tough, but good natured. However, even the nicest Gorilla Man can fly into a rage and fight or maul a comrade when provoked. The violent outbursts by the N'mbyr is just part of their nature and may be linked to their psionic abilities and/or some survival mode suitable for their indidenous environment.
The N'mbr arrived to Rifts Earth through a dimensional anomaly at the Old Chicago ruins, so they are most common to the Midwest, particularly Illinois, Arkansas, Missouri, and the Magic Zone.
|Ogre and Orc Gang Members
Orcs are the commonest of the sub-human races found on the former world, with goblins next in line. They are large, dull witted brutes, heavily muscles and broader built than humans. Their heads are large, often with a heavily ridged brow, brushy eyebrows, pointed ears, large, fang filled mouth, a snout-like nose and dark colored eyes and hair. They, like the goblins, operate in loose-knit tribes of warriors and brigands. The orcs of the former world tend to be warrior parasites who would rather fight and steal from others than engage in more civilized activities. Yet despite their legendary ferocity, dwarfed only by their legendary dumbness, they can make excellant farmers and heavy laborers.
Impressed by power, and true power to an orc is the ability to do whatever you want to whomever you want, they will obey and follow any being who possesses great physical strength or incredible magicpower. Consequently, they frequently become the minions or any for powerful ogres, trolls, giants, sorcerers, dragons, supernatural beings, and even humans and elves. Thye revel in destruction and mayhem, so they love to participate in torture, murder, pillaging, massacures, and general carnage. In fact, the high they enjoy from such destruction and combat can be so strong that they cannot be controlled. However, a show of mystic or supernatural might will usually bring them back in line, as orcs live in awe and fear of powerful magic.
On Rifts Earth, orcs are found in the D-Bee populations of the Burbs around Chi-Town, Iron Heart, and Lone Star. They also compose a full thirty percent of the bandits in the Pecos Empire and are found in Juarez and scattered throughout Mexico and parts of the America west. Up north they can be found in and around Calgary and southern portions of Canada. Tens of thousands are found, with their goblin buddies, in Eastern Europe. Ever lustful for power and wealth, especially power, orcs have been known to embrace all manner of human augmentation, especially bionic conversions and crazies and juicer conversions, and will submit to all kinds of experimentation for the promise of power.
Ogres resemble a giant, neanderthal-like, pre-historic cousin to the humans. There is a growing number of scholars who believe that ogres and humans share a common ancestry. This is given further credence by the fact that ogres can and do successfully mate with humans, producing healthy offspring (such offspring are iant and generally considered to be ogres). In the former world the ogre females are frequently sterile, about 45%, and there are typically less females than males. Consequently, a raiding party of males will attack travelers and villages to kidnap human women for breeding.
Ogres are a dying breed. Their problem with sterility is compounded by the long gestation period of one year, and the ogres' belligerent and aggressive nature, which leads to widespread fear and persecution by other races. Ogres are extremely aggressive and driven by passion; love, anger, hate. They delight in physical combat and sport to prove their physical superiority. A coward or weakling has no place among ogres and will be driven from the tribe of killed. A typical tribe is small, rarely exceeding a hundred. However, ogres may establish a tribe among other sub-humans, particularly orcs. Of course, it is the ogres who rule and dominate the orcs. Sadly, these minsanthropes distrust all humanoids, loathe humans and elves, and don't even get along with other ogres.
Ogres are found on the Rifts world, though their numbers are limited to a few hundred. They enjoy the vast primal wilderness and challenged for survival. They have readily taken to mega-damage armor, energy weapons and rail guns, as well as partial bionic reconstruction. Unlike the stupid orcs, the ogres are as smart as humans and have reservations about massive bionic conversion and are extremely leery about being operated on by anybody.
Pogtal ("Dragon Slayers")
Portal, a race of D-Bee (Dimensional Beings) giants, also known as the "Dragon Slayers." The Portal Dragon Slayers are a race of warrior giants and are creatures of magic. The Portalian's native world is a lush wilderness of tropical and subtropical forests broken only by the occasional desert and sea (no grasslands, many swamps and marshes). The dominant life form are dragons and dragon-like predators (the latter being more like the Great Wooly Dragon or dinosaurs than the more intelligent dragons). The Dragon Slayers have evolved to survive in this hostile land of giants by themselves becoming giants and developing resistance to magic as well as a variety of other features that enable them to combat their natural nemesis, the dragon. The giants' maws are designed for biting through the tough flesh of their prey, the stomach for digesting raw meat.
Over the eons, the giant humanoids have become the predators of the dragons and dinosaurs (and vice versa). males and females alike are skilled hunters and wilderness scouts. The typical community is a small tribe of 20 to 100 members. Some are stationary communities while others are nomadic. The level of technology is low, with ancient style weapons and armor. Even when high-tech energy weapons are made available the giants prefer the challenge of hand to hand combat. They pride themselves as dragon slayers and as the greatest warriors in the universe. This also means that they are generally arrogant, extremely aggressive, quick to fight, and merciless in combat. They eat the raw flesh, drink the blood, and eat the bones of their prey (most hate cooked meat). In the world of Rifts, they prey on dragons, dinosaurs, large mammals, and other giants. Although they are frequently called savage cannibals, they NEVER eat the flesh of their own kind, but have been known to eat other humanoids. With the exception of the occasional rogue, Dragon Slayers seldom terrorized unarmed humans or other tiny people (Portal range from 13 to 28 feet tall). The giants are proud warriors and there is nothing to be proud about in the slaughter of unarmed opponents. As warriors, they do not look for treasure or a people to rule, but rather seek adventure and combat. They love to fight giant robots and find conflict with monsters and wizards a great challenge.
The Quick-Flex Alien is the classic D-bee, because at a quick glance, he or she doesn't look different than a human. A long look or close inspection will show the character's large eyes, long face and pinholes for a nose. Otherwise, the D-bee is your basic bipedal humanoid and can pass for human if clad in armor or when facial features are obscured. However, this race has a much higher metabolism than humans which means they are a bit smaller (rarely exceed five foot, six inches), are alert, agile and incredibly fast. Their reflexes and speed are roughly equal to a Juicer or Crazy, plus they are ambidextrous. This makes the Quick-Flex Aliens superb gunmen, snipers, assassins, thieves, pilots and acrobats. They love adventure and fast moving vehicles. They also like adorning themselves with tattoos on their arms and chest.
The Quick-Flex Aliens are common to North America, particularly the mid-west, with an estimated one million scattered across the country.
Tirrvol Sword Fist
The Tirrvol (Pronounced "tear vol") are huge, barrel-chested aliens who cannot be missed in a crowd. Their upper torso is incredibly developed and strong. The neck is almost serpentine in its length and flexibility, ending in a short, round head with small round eyes, tiny pointed ears, slit for a nose and a large muzzle for a mouth. Their skin is a light grey color and thin and wrinkly like the hide of an elephant or rhino. The Sword Fist get their name from their most unique and obvious feature, their long, ivory colored, sword-like appendages. A sharp, mega-damage bone or horn extends into a bony blade where the fingers should be, and a bony hook protrudes from where the thumb would be on humans. The Sword Fist is amazingly adept in using their sword hands for things other than combat and can actually operate a computer and some simple machines. However, the use of the sword hands is comparatively limited. Consequently, evolution has been good to the giant humanoid, giving him prehensile toes and double-jointed legs. Thus, the Sword Fist can operate a machine and even drive a vehicle using his feet!
The Tirrvol is a light mega-damage being, but warriors frequently undergo bionic augmentation to get cyber-armor similar to the Cyber-Knight. This armor typically protects the chest, shoulders, and Tirrvolian's long neck. They are fierce in battle and masterful swordsmen. Most are honorable, compassionate warriors of a good alignment who stand up against tyranny and the forces of evil. Many have become champions of light and more than a few are rumored to have joined the Cyber-Knights.
The Sword Fist is highly intelligent, but they tend to speak in short, simple sentences. Some scholars have speculated that human languages are difficult for the creatures; its natural language is a series of whistles, clicks and grunts reminiscent of Earth dolphins and whales.
Nobody knows where the Tirrvol originate or where they come from. Although a few hundred live in the Burbs in the State of Chi-Town, they are comparatively few, with perhaps fewer than one thousand throughout the Americas.
The Trimadore is a strange looking D-bee humanoid with a long- thick neck, comparatively small head, long thin appendages, hands with two fingers and a thumb, and wide feet. The Trimadore are generally quiet, peaceful people with a knack for electronics, mechanics and building. Thy are constantly taking equipment apart, studying it and putting it back together. They are also excellent at jury-rigging different systems and cobbling things together. Trimadore usually make their own body armor from scrap parts and are always puttering around with something. Their mechanical aptitudes make them ideal for becoming Operators or Techno-Wizards.
Overall, the Trimadore people are gentle giants who like to build, so, while theyre are some adventurers and warriors, most avoid combat. There are believed to be less than a quarter of a million Trimadore in the world.
Trolls are a race of vindictive, foul-hearted giants who detest humans, elves and other handsome humanoids. They are intelligent and cunning predators that prey on smaller humanoids and occasionally, animals. They often resemble giant, hairy corpses with pale white or light grey skin covered with darker grey and purple blotches. Huge canine fangs protrude from the lower jaw for tearing flesh, and they have large molars for crushing bone.
Trolls are fierce fighters with a love for hand to hand combat. Their legendary ferocity enables them to deal amicably with most non-human races, including dwarves. However, they love the company of kobolds above all others.
On Rifts Earth, trolls are even more uncommon than on the former world, with perhaps as many as a hundred worldwide. They are found mainly in remote wilderness areas where they can prey on low-tech hmanoids. But a few can be found in an occasional burb, often the king of his own little neighborhood of orcs and D-Bees, or the leader of a D-Bee gang. They love vibro-blades and traditional blade weapons with a passion, but have also adapted to energy weapons and basic technology.
In the world of Rifts there are a variety of monsters that feast on blood. Most will have specific names such as the dybbuk, succubus, and batlings; all are considered to be vampires by their nature of drinking the blood of their victims. Regardless of the abundance of blood sucking fiends, the most infamous of these legendary demons are the so-called Undead Vampires or True Vampires. The term "vampire" will generally refer to the undead/true vampire.
There are three types of Undead Vampires, the master vampire, secondary vampire, and the wild vampire (the latter two tend to be subservient to the more powerful master). The level of savagery increases from master to wild while the level of intelligence decreases. All three share the same basic powers, although the master and secondary vampires possess limited skills and abilities that the wild vampires do not.
Undead Vampires live to dominate, terrify and feed on inferior humanoid life. Humanoids are cattle to be quartered and devoured, playthings to satisfy sadistic pleasures. The hell fiends delight in the fear, pain, and suffering of their prey, immersing themselves in the dark emotions. While they require blood as nourishment, they are also psychic vampires that feed on the Potential Psychic Energy of their victims, soaking up the delectable quintessence of life tinged with the tantalizing flavor of terror and/or ecstasy that only a vampire can evoke.
Most undead vampires appear to be completely human, or in the case of the Rifts world, humanoid. A true vampire is rarely alien in appearance. The vampire can be male or female, adult o child (those they tend toward adults). The physical characteristics that differentiate that undead from humans are pale (bloodless) skin color like that of a corpse, hallow and prominent cheekbones, lean and bony body (again giving them a corpse-like look; few vampires are fat), long slender fingers (often unusually long) and long finger nails. The eyes are bright and piercing (they glow red, orange or yellow when the vampires exerts his will over others, or when he is using his other powers), and, of course, they possess large canine teeth that often protrude from the upper lip. Most are said to have a "hungry look" about them, as if longing for some unnatural pleasure.
Master Vampires frequently exude an air of cold authority and confidence that is beyond the norm, like some invisible aura that makes them humanoids (even non-psychics) feel strangely uncomfortable. Master vampires are the least corpse-like in appearance and tend to be attractive and a bit more meaty and healthy looking than most. Still, they are usually tall, lean, pale in color, and possess all the other physical traits of the vampire, just not as extreme. They tend to be educated, well mannered and dress fashionably, giving them an aristocratic appearance. They can easily pass themselves off as being human.
Secondary Vampires are your classic vampire, with pale, almost white flesh, thin and corpse-like bodies, canine fangs and strange eyes. They are less educated and more savage than the master and may wear fine clothes, rags, or nothing at all. Like the master vampire, they can often walk among humans unnoticed.
Wild Vampires are clearly the undead. They tend to be terribly thin, often skeletal, have long, claw-like fingernails, strange eyes, and white flesh often tinged with hues of blue, pale green or the yellow-brown of aging parchment. They frequently wear tattered rags, loin clothes, or nothing at all. Their faces are distorted by snarls and slobbering lips. Their eyes, when not aglow, have tiny pupils, no iris, reddish coloring and the crazed look of insanity. They speak in guttural tones and short sentences accompanied by grunts, growls, and howling. These creatures of the night are savage and wanton murderers who often torment their prey before they feast on their blood. They make no effort to conceal their nature. Most Vampires are noted to have foul smelling breath. Wild vampires have a particularly terrible stench for breath and charnel smell about them.
The Secondary Vampire
The master vampire creates other vampires by a slow kill bite that transfers yet another fragment of the evil essence into another humanoid creature. The process transforms the master vampire's slow kill victim into a secondary vampire. Tragically, now that the vampire's intelligence has anchored itself in the world through the master vampire, it no longer needs to find willing subjects. The master vampire can transform willing and unwilling victims alike into the cursed undead. With the creation of each new vampire, the alien intelligence's hold in that dimension becomes stronger.
The victims of the master are the secondary vampires. Despite the fact that they are usually subservient to their creator and the intelligence, and the term secondary implies a level of inferiority, they possess all the spectacular supernatural powers of the master vampires and are quite intelligent. The only two things that make them inferior to their creator/master is that the secondary vampires are a bit more savage (and therefore a bit less intelligent/clever) and they are generally subservient to their creator and most other master vampires.
Ironically, the secondary vampire can sometimes defy the vampire intelligence, perhaps because they possess a similar portion of its essence, or because they must answer to two masters. Whether it is the smaller essence or the fact that they are a second generation extension of the intelligence, the pitiful creatures remember more about their lives as humans than any other undead. Those of evil alignment readily accept their new monstrous existence and are the least tormented by past memories. Those of a good alignment frequently loathe the monsters they have become. Many try to fight the unnatural desires for blood and carnage, but most eventually succumb and resign themselves to an existence of evil as the dreaded creatures of the night. Yet a tiny minority do successfully win their inner battle and retain some vestige of humanity. These are the unprincipled, anarchist, and aberrant vampires who tend to operate independent of a master and away from others of their ilk. They seldom feed indiscriminately on the innocent and try to do some good with their lives.
The plague of evil continues as the secondary vampires feed and/or create additional vampires by means of the slow kill. Because the secondary vampires retain more memories of their pasts than the master or wild vampires, they often target family members, friends, and loved ones as victims of a slow kill. In many cases, the feelings of love are gone, but the shadow of a memory compels them to add these people to their evil brotherhood. Unlike the master, the slow kill of the secondary vampire does not offer consistence results. Again, perhaps because these lesser vampires are not as true to the intelligence's nature or because they possess a smaller essence fragment, they do not automatically create another secondary Vampire. There is trouble creating new undead. 58% of the victims of a slow kill will be wild vampires, not secondary vampires.
Wild vampires are created in one of two ways. They have either been driven insane into their present animalistic state (often from starvation) or created by a secondary vampire. Like the master, secondary vampires can also create new vampires; however, these third generation undead are frequently flawed, one might say, mentally retarded. This misanthropes are incredibly savage and possess the most meager of mental faculties. Most are crazed predators that are more animal than human. These are primal forces that function on instinct rather than forethought. Their lives are commanded with stalking, killing and feeding. They engage in few activities other than tormenting and hunting others. As before, the wild vampires are generally subservient to their vampire creator, master vampires, and most secondary vampires. ALL wild ones are subservient to their ultimate creator, the vampire intelligence.
The Vanguard Brawlers are notorious as leaders of street gangs and finding work as bounty hunters, slavers, hit men, enforcers, bouncers, bodyguards and mercenaries. While they will work for most any race, they tend to congregate among their own kind, typically gathering in family clans and gangs. Brawlers are tough, streetwise thugs who use their firsts, violence and intimidation to get what they want. Despite their strong arm tactics, they are cunning, resourceful, excellent strategists and good leaders (in a mafia kingpin sort of way).
The D-bee has a tough, scaly, mega-damage skin, but it is only sufficient to withstand a few energy blasts, buit then, most Vanguard Brawlers only need a few seconds to vanquish their opponents. Light to heavy body armor is often worn as well, particularly to protect the head, arms, and legs. Two rows of sharp, hook-like spines protrude from the back and must have once served as a natural defense --- any creature leaping onto the Bawler's back impales or gouges itself on one or more spines (typically 1D4+2 spines per row). The exact shape, size, and number of spines are different on every brawler and can be used as a means of identifying individuals, who all tend to look very similar. The color of the skin is a pale blue-green with larger scales and nodules that are a lighter yellow or powder green. The nose is small and located directly between the snake-like eyes.
There are believed to be less than a half million Vanguard Brawlers throughout the continent; most are in the Midwest.