Version 2.19: August 25, 1999

Introduction and Overview

I've been playing Palladium games for over 10 years, and now I'm keeper of the flame. I had the fortune of playing a Palladium game for the first time under Kevin S. himself, at one of his last appearances as a convention GM (Marcon 23, I believe). Since then, I've written hundreds of pages for the games (Especially if you count my Robotech fanfic that started out as an RPG campaign), and gone on to be a convention GM as well, including several years at Gen Con. My hopes of getting published by Palladium have finally come true, with my ABP-Z4 design in The Rifter #5, and I can only hope that this is just the beginning.


1. The FAQ is normally posted in multiple parts on the Palladium list.

2. The FAQ was originally written in WordPerfect 7.0, and was converted to html using WP 7.0, with massive clean-up work done with Luckman's WebEdit 2.0.

3. Whenever you see text in brackets [] in the FAQ, they denote little editorial comments by Robotechie, that I've not taken out.


Stan Bundy: FAQ slave/editor, Night Owl, and general loser. He can be reached at (provided the mail server doesn't crash again).

Brian Myers: Writer of most of the individual RPG header descriptions.

RoboTechie (Robert Mc Daniel): Editor Emeritus.

Dustin Ramsey: Former keeper of the HTML version of the FAQ, and major contributor.

The following people also helped contribute to this FAQ. For the most part, I have no idea which contributions were theirs.

Arch Mage Hadrian    Jason G. Aults      Wayne Braden            Jim Cannon
Colin Cashman        Cyr Kithra          Brad Knowles            Raymond Saulnier
Sony                 Triplett     Tom Potts a.k.a. The Yak God
Ronald Young         Shawn Merrow        Peapod Elf              J.W. Rommell

ALWAYS under construction

Updates: (since version 2.1)

A set of fast-combat rules have been included (fast as in speeding up play)

The print schedule has been updated through the August online conferences.

The Palladium Book of European Castles info has been added.

Information on the mailing lists have been updated.

Update on the miniatures game.

New sections on mini-missile guidance and falling damage have been added to Section 2.

The information on the Mechanoids comics has been moved to the Mechanoids section.

New information concerning Recon has been put in.

An official quote from Palladium is now used for the answer to 1.4.

The Beyond the Supernatural First Printing errata has been added.

Information is now present for The Magic of Palladium Books #7/#8.

Additional notes have been uncovered, concerning the rolling of attributes.

The Hand-to-Hand combat section has been modified.

The "Is BtS the Past of Rifts?" entry has been moved from the BtS section to the Rifts section, and expanded, based on the latest info and speculation.

An entry on the changes between editions of Heroes Unlimited has been added.

And, folks, I'd STILL appreciate any info on the compendiums, Valley of the Pharaohs, etc. That you might can send me to update that section.


Section 0: Glossary

Incomplete; A submission of a new glossary is requested. Any takers?

Section 1: General Non-Game-Mechanics Questions

  1. What is Palladium Books?
  2. What products has Palladium Books published thus far?
  3. What products are due to be released in the near future?
  4. Why does Palladium always release items long after their announced release dates?
  5. Who writes for/works for Palladium Books?
  6. What is Palladium's mailing address?
  7. What is the history of Palladium Books?
  8. What other media (books, comics, movies, etc.) is Palladium Books involved in?
  9. What was "The Magic of Palladium Books"?
  10. What was the "Palladium vs. Wizards of the Coast" lawsuit all about?
  11. Is it true that Kevin threatened to sue any gaming magazines that published material for Palladium games?
  12. I have this neat idea for a Palladium game sourcebook. What are the chances of getting it published?
  13. What is THE RIFTER?

Section 2: General Game Mechanics Questions

  1. The Great M.D.C. Debate. A short analysis and warning.
  2. How many attacks per melee does a starting character have?
  3. Why are Rifts robots so much more powerful than Robotech mecha?
  4. Why can some R.C.C.s have a O.C.C. and others can't?
  5. How do I roll attributes and bonus dice?
  6. What does "Standard" rate of fire mean anyway?
  7. How Does Mini-Missile Guidance work? The different RPGs conflict!
  8. Why should I be worried about falls? Won't my armor protect me?
  9. What's with all these rule changes? They're slowing down combat!

Section 3: The Palladium RPG

  1. What is the Palladium RPG?
  2. What changes are there between the 1st and the 2nd editions?
  3. How do you handle characters who switch classes?
  4. Whatever happened to those little pamphlet supplements for weapons, castles, etc.?
  5. What is the "sexual deviations" table?
  6. How do I handle P.B. for Changelings?

Section 4: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

  1. What is the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles RPG?
  2. Where do I find X mutant animal?

Section 5: The Anime-Based Games: Robotech & Macross II

  1. What is the Robotech RPG?
  2. What discrepancies are there between the RPG and the series?
  3. What is Macross II? Is it a sequel to Robotech?
  4. Why hasn't there been anything published recently for these games?

Section 6: Heroes Unlimited

  1. What is Heroes Unlimited?
  2. What are the changes from 1st/Revised edition to 2nd Edition HU?
  3. What was "The Justice Machine" supplement?

Section 7: Ninjas and Superspies

  1. What is Ninjas and Superspies?
  2. What changes were made to the revised edition?
  3. Where is Mystic China supplement?

Section 8: Beyond The Supernatural

  1. What is Beyond The Supernatural?
  2. Whatever happened to all the announced but never published supplements?
  3. I've got some questions about the first printing. Some things are confusing or missing.

Section 9: Rifts

  1. What is Rifts?
  2. Is Beyond the Supernatural REALLY the past of Rifts Earth?
  3. Where are the stats for Victor Lazlo in Rifts World Book Four: Africa?
  4. What are Universal Credits exactly?
  5. What are the prices for vibro-blades and the neural mace?
  6. How much does railgun ammo cost?
  7. How do you Trade/Barter for goods?
  8. What books are the core books necessary to play?

Section 10: Nightbane

  1. What is Nightbane?
  2. Wasn't Nightbane originally called Nightspawn? What happened?

Section 11: The Mechanoids

  1. What is The Mechanoids?
  2. When is the Mechanoids RPG going to be reprinted?
  3. What were the Mechanoids Comics?

Section 12: Recon

  1. What is Recon?
  2. When is Recon going to be reprinted?

Section 13: The 'Net

  1. What mailing lists are there for Palladium RPGs?
  2. What archive sites are there for Palladium RPGs?
  3. What newsgroups are there for Palladium RPGs?
  4. Does Kevin Siembieda/Palladium have an e-mail address?
  5. Does Palladium have a place to ask about rules questions?

Section 14: Miscellaneous Stuff

Section 0: Glossary

I'm wanting someone to help me come up with a better glossary than the previous one, using the newer books as primary sources. Also, unlike the previous one, I'm wanting to keep RPG-specific entries separate (I.E. sub-glossaries after the first one), though stuff that logically applies to all (but listed only in one) will. The firearms technical jargon from the Compendium of Contemporary Weapons would fall in the separate category. In addition, a floppy failure ate my copy of the old glossary, so I can't do it myself.

Section 1: General Non-Game-Mechanics Questions

1.1. What is Palladium Books?

Palladium Books is a Role Playing Games company which was started in 1980 by Kevin Siembieda for the purpose of publishing his first RPG, a fantasy game called The Palladium RPG, from which the company derives it's name. It was very successful and pioneered many innovations that today dominate the gaming industry (not the least of which being its format). Palladium went on to publish many more games, including the lucrative Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Robotech lines.

Ten years later, in 1990, Palladium Books published Rifts, Palladium's landmark post-apocalyptic game designed to tie all the concepts created in previous games together. It has since become the centerpiece of the Palladium world, and a huge commercial success, spawning over 30 sourcebooks at last count.

1.2. What products has Palladium Books published thus far?

Product Name                                            Catalog   Cost       I.S.B.N. 
                                                           #     (US $)

The Rifter Magazine/Sourcebook
Issue #1                                                  101     $7.95    1-57457-009-9
Issue #2                                                  102     $7.95    1-57457-012-9
Issue #3                                                  103     $7.95    1-57457-013-7
Issue #4                                                  104     $7.95    1-57457-014-5
Issue #5                                                  105     $7.95    1-57457-020-X
Issue #6                                                  106     $7.95    1-57457-024-2
Issue #7                                                  107     $7.95    1-57457-033-1
The Rifter #8                                             108     $7.95    1-57457-???-?
Release date: October 8, 1999

"200-series" books
Valley of the Pharaohs (Book only) * (1)(10)              200     $8.00    0-916211-??-?
Valley of the Pharaohs (Boxed Set) * (1)(10)              200    $12.00    0-916211-??-?

Rifts Novels (300-series)
Rifts Novel #1: Sonic Boom                                301     $7.95    1-57457-026-9
Rifts Novel #2: Deception's Web                           302     $7.95    1-57457-029-3
Rifts Novel #3: Treacherous Awakenings                    303     $7.95    1-57457-032-3
      Release date: September (possible last week of August) 1999

The Mechanoids
The Mechanoid Invasion * (1)                              400     $3.95          ?
" " Book 2: The Journey * (1)                             402     $4.95          ?
" " Book 3: Homeworld * (1)                               403     $7.50          ?
The Mechanoids RPG *                                      400    $14.95    0-916211-13-4
The Mechanoids Special Edition                            400    $19.95    1-57457-021-8

"400-series" books & Miscellaneous
Palladium Book of Weapons and Armor *                     404     $5.95    0-916211-07-X   
Palladium Book of Weapons and Castles *                   405?    $5.95    0-916211-??-?   
Palladium Book of Weapons and Assassins *                 406     $5.95    0-916211-03-7   
Weapons and Castles of the Orient *                       407     $5.95    0-916211-02-9
Palladium Book of Contemporary Weapons *                  408     $5.95    0-916211-01-0
Palladium Book of Exotic Weapons *                        409     $5.95    0-916211-06-1   
Palladium Book of European Castles *                      410     $5.95    0-916211-11-8   
The Compendium of Weapons, Armor, & Castles               411    $19.95    0-916211-38-X
The Compendium of Contemporary Weapons                    415    $19.95    0-916211-65-7

"450-series" -- The Palladium RPG
The Palladium Role-Playing Game *                         N.A.   $19.95    N.A.       
The Palladium Role-Playing Game Revised Edition *         450    $19.95    0-916211-04-5
The Palladium Role-Playing Game Second Edition (2)        450    $24.95    0-916211-91-6
The Palladium Role-Playing Game Crimson Edition (11)     4500    $40.00    0-916211-91-6?
The Arms of Nargash-Tor * (1)                             451     $4.95    0-916211-00-2
Dragons and Gods (PFRPG 2nd Edition)                      451    $19.95    0-916211-98-3 
Game Masters Shield *                                     452     $3.95    N.A.
Palladium RPG Book II: Old Ones *                         453    $14.95    0-916211-09-6
Palladium RPG Book II: Old Ones Second Edition            453    $16.95    0-916211-09-6
Monsters and Animals *                                    454    $14.95    0-916211-12-6
Monsters and Animals Revised *                            454    $14.95    0-916211-12-6
Monsters and Animals Second Edition                       454    $16.95    0-916211-12-6
Palladium RPG Book III: Adventures on the High Seas *     455    $14.95    0-916211-17-7
Palladium RPG Book III: Ad. on the High Seas Second Ed.   455    $16.95    0-916211-17-7
Palladium RPG Book IV: Ad. in the Northern Wilderness     456     $9.95    0-916211-39-8
Palladium RPG Book V: "Further" Adventures in the         457     $7.95    0-916211-40-1
                      Northern Wilderness
Palladium RPG Book VI: Island at the Edge of the World    458    $15.95    0-916211-61-4
Palladium RPG Book VII: Yin-Sloth Jungles                 459    $15.95    0-916211-81-9
Palladium RPG Book VIII: Western Empire                   462    $16.95    1-57457-015-3
Palladium RPG Book IX: Baalgor Wastelands                 463    $20.95    1-57457-022-6
Palladium RPG Book X: Mount Nimro                         464    $16.95    1-57457-028-5
Palladium RPG Book XI: The Eastern Territory              465    $20.95    1-57457-034-X
      Release date: September 1999

"500-series" games -- Heroes Unlimited/T.M.N.T/Ninjas & Superspies
Heroes Unlimited *                                        500    $14.95    0-916211-05-3
Heroes Unlimited Revised                                  500    $19.95    0-916211-05-3
Heroes Unlimited Second Edition                           500    $24.95    1-57457-006-4
Villains Unlimited                                        501    $19.95    0-916211-49-5
The Justice Machine (1) *                                 501    $14.95    0-916211-10-X
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness *        502     $9.95?   0-916211-14-2
T.M.N.T. & Other Strangeness Revised Edition              502    $11.95    0-916211-14-2
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & More Strangeness (2nd Ed.) 502-2?    $12.95    1-57457-007-2
      Release Date: September 1999?
After the Bomb                                            503     $6.95    0-916211-15-0
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures!                  504     $7.95    0-916211-16-9
After the Bomb Book 2: Road Hogs                          505     $7.95    0-916211-20-7
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Guide to the Universe        506     $7.95    0-916211-25-8
After the Bomb Book 3: Mutants Down Under                 507     $7.95    0-916211-34-7
Transdimensional Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles             508    $11.95    0-916211-35-5
Truckin' Turtles                                          509     $7.95    0-916211-43-6
Turtles Go Hollywood                                      510     $7.95    0-916211-46-0
After the Bomb Book 4: Mutants of the Yucatan             511     $7.95    0-916211-44-4
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Accessory Pack               512    $11.95    0-916211-45-2
After the Bomb Book 5: Mutants in Avalon                  513     $9.95    0-916211-47-9
After the Bomb Book 6: Mutants in Orbit(3)                514    $11.95    0-916211-48-7
Aliens Unlimited                                          515    $19.95    0-916211-76-2
Aliens Unlimited Second Edition                           515    $20.95    0-916211-76-2
      Release Date: September 28, 1999
Heroes Unlimited Game Masters Guide                       516    $20.95    1-57457-035-8
Ninjas & Superspies *                                     525    $14.95    0-916211-31-2
Ninjas & Superspies Revised Edition                       525    $15.95    0-916211-31-2
Mystic China                                              526    $19.95    0-916211-77-0

"550-series" products -- Robotech & Macross II
Robotech RPG Book One: Macross                            550    $11.95    0-916211-21-5
Robotech RPG Book Two: RDF Manual                         551     $7.95    0-916211-23-1
Robotech RPG Book Three: Zentraedi                        552     $7.95    0-916211-22-3
Robotech RPG Book Four: Southern Cross                    553    $11.95    0-916211-27-4
Robotech RPG Adventures: Ghost Ship                       554     $6.95    0-916211-29-0
Robotech RPG Adventures: RDF Accelerated Training Program 555     $7.95    0-916211-32-0
Robotech RPG Book Five: Invid Invasion                    556    $11.95    0-916211-28-2
Robotech II RPG: The Sentinels                            557    $15.95    0-916211-33-9
Sentinels Video Tape *                                    557TP  $19.95    N.A.
Robotech II RPG: REF Field Guide                          558    $15.95    0-916211-36-3
Robotech RPG Book Six: The Return of the Masters *        559     $9.95    0-916211-37-1
Robotech RPG Book Six: The Return of the Masters 2nd Ed.  559(9) $12.95    0-916211-37-1
Robotech RPG Adventures: Lancer's Rockers * (1)           560     $7.95    0-916211-42-8
Robotech RPG Adventures: Zentraedi Breakout               561     $9.95    0-916211-67-3
Robotech RPG Book Seven: New World Order                  562    $11.95    0-916211-84-3
Robotech RPG Book Eight: Strike Force                     563    $11.95    0-916211-85-1
Robotech Video Tapes (Episodes #61-85) *                570-577  $24.95(4) N.A.
Robotech Video Tapes (Episodes #37-60) *                578-585  $24.95    N.A.
Macross II, The Roleplaying Game *                        590    $11.95    0-916211-62-2
Macross II: Sourcebook One *                              591     $9.95    0-916211-63-0
Macross II: Deck Plans Volume 1 *                         592     $9.95    0-916211-66-5
Macross II: Deck Plans Volume 2 *                         593     $9.95    0-916211-74-6
Macross II: Deck Plans Volume 3 *                         594     $9.95    0-916211-75-4

Recon (600-series)
Deluxe Revised Recon                                      600    $20.95    1-57457-023-4
Revised Recon * (5)                                       610    $14.95    0-916211-19-3
Advanced Recon * (5)                                      611     $7.95    0-916211-24-X     

"700-series" games -- Beyond the Supernatural & Nightbane
Beyond the Supernatural *                                 700    $19.95    0-916211-18-5
Boxed Nightmares (6)                                      701    $11.95    0-916211-41-X
Nightspawn * (7)                                          730    $19.95    0-916211-86-X
Nightbane (7)                                             730    $19.95    0-916211-86-X
Nightbane: Between the Shadows                            731    $16.95    0-916211-90-8
Nightbane: Nightlands                                     732    $16.95    0-916211-97-5
Nightbane: Through the Glass Darkly                       733    $16.95    1-57457-004-8

Rifts (800-series)
RiftworkZ Art Portfolio                                   799    $29.95    0-916211-99-1
Rifts (8)                                                 800    $24.95    0-916211-50-1
Rifts (Hardcover) (8)                                    8000    $32.95    0-916211-87-8
Rifts Sourcebook                                          801    $11.95    0-916211-51-7
Rifts World Book One: The Vampire Kingdoms                802    $15.95    0-916211-52-5
Rifts Conversion Book                                     803    $19.95    0-916211-53-3
Rifts World Book Two: Atlantis                            804    $15.95    0-916211-54-1
Rifts Sourcebook Two: The Mechanoids                      805    $11.95    0-916211-55-X
Rifts 1993 Calendar *                                     806    $11.95    0-916211-56-8
Rifts World Book Three: England                           807    $15.95    0-916211-57-6
Rifts World Book Four: Africa                             808    $15.95    0-916211-58-4
Rifts Dimension Book One: Wormwood                        809    $16.95    0-916211-59-2
Rifts World Book Five: Triax & The NGR                    810    $20.95    0-916211-60-6
Rifts Conversion Book Two: Pantheons of the Megaverse     811    $19.95    0-916211-68-1
Rifts Sourcebook Three: Mindwerks                         812    $11.95    0-916211-69-X
Rifts Mercenaries                                         813    $15.95    0-916211-70-3
Rifts World Book Six: South America                       814    $15.95    0-916211-71-1
Rifts World Book Seven: Underseas                         815    $19.95    0-916211-72-X
Rifts Dimension Book Two: Phase World                     816    $19.95    0-916211-73-8
Rifts Dimension Book Three: Phase World Sourcebook        817    $11.95    0-916211-79-7
Rifts World Book Eight: Japan                             818    $19.95    0-916211-88-6
Rifts World Book Nine: South America Two                  819    $19.95    0-916211-89-4
Rifts World Book Ten: The Juicer Uprisings                820    $16.95    0-916211-92-4
Rifts World Book Eleven: The Coalition War Campaign       821    $20.95    0-916211-93-2 
Rifts World Book Twelve: Psyscape                         822    $16.95    0-916211-94-0
Rifts Index and Adventures                                823    $12.95    0-916211-95-9
Rifts Game Shield & Adventures                            824    $12.95    0-916211-96-7
Rifts World Book Thirteen: Lone Star                      825    $16.95    1-57457-000-5
Rifts World Book Fourteen: The New West                   826    $20.95    1-57457-001-3
Rifts World Book Fifteen: Spirit West                     827    $20.95    1-57457-002-1
Rifts Sourcebook Four: Coalition Navy                     828    $12.95    1-57457-003-X
Rifts World Book Sixteen: Federation Of Magic             829    $16.95    1-57457-005-6
Rifts Dimension Book Four: Scraypers                      830    $16.95    0-916211-78-9
Rifts Index Volume Two                                    831    $12.95    1-57457-008-0
Rifts World Book 17: Warlords of Russia                   832    $20.95    1-57457-010-2
Rifts World Book 18: Mystic Russia                        833    $16.95    1-57457-011-0
Rifts World Book 19: Australia                            834    $16.95    1-57457-018-8
Rifts World Book 20: Canada (One)                         835    $20.95    1-57457-025-0
     Release Date: August 30, 1999
Rifts World Book 21: Splynn Dimensional Market(Atlantis2) 836    $16.95    1-57457-027-7
     Release Date: September 21, 1999
Rifts World Book 22: Free Quebec                          837    $20.95    1-57457-030-7
     Release Date: Fall 1999
Rifts World Book 23: The Xiticix Invasion                 838    $16.95    1-57457-031-5
     Release Date: Fall 1999

Rifts Game Masters Assistant(Computer Program)*          9000    $20.00    ??
Rifts Miniatures - Twenty different sets:              8001-8020  $4.00    N.A.
         These are out of print, but still        $6.95 to $10.95 Retail
         Have plenty in stock at Palladium        (Currently $4.00 each)
Rifts T-shirts: Borg                                     800-TS  $14.95    N.A.
Rifts T-shirts: Ley Line Walker                          801-TS  $14.95    N.A.
Rifts T-shirts: Dog Pack                                 803-TS  $14.95    N.A.
Rifts T-shirts: Rifts Logo                               804-TS  $14.95    N.A.
Nightbane T-shirt                                        805-TS  $15.95    N.A.
Palladium Fantasy RPG T-shirt                            806-TS  $15.95    N.A.
Rifts T-shirts: Coalition Christmas                      807-TS  $15.95    N.A.


(N.A.) Indicates information was not on product (not necessarily that it didn't have one, just that it wasn't present).

(?) Indicates incomplete or possibly inaccurate data.

(*) Denotes that this item is Out-of-Print. And even though it is out of print you may still be able to find it somewhere.

(1) These are very rare products (10-15 years old, generally). They are VERY out-of-print. Many players consider them collector's items. However, Arms of Nargesh Tor and Lancer's Rockers are both downloadable from Palladium's web page.

(2) There are three versions of the Palladium Role-Playing Game. There is the first edition (Early printings of the Revised Edition continued to include the "Sexual Deviations" table and kept the black & red cover art, instead of the newer full-color cover art), the Revised Edition, and the Second Edition.

(3) This is a supplement for the After the Bomb TMNT setting. Half of the book is dedicated to Earthspace in the Rifts setting.

(4) All but 577 were 3 episodes each. 577 had 4 episodes (the last 4 of the series), and cost $29.95.

(5) There are two version of the Recon game. The original Recon was a miniature-only game, and was not initially a Palladium product. Revised Recon is a modern-combat game written with a different system related to (but not 100% compatible with) the Palladium standard system. Included in Revised Recon are the original Recon miniature rules. However, there have been plans to make a new, Second edition of the game, using the standard Palladium system.

(6) A tabloid-style newspaper came shrink-wrapped with this supplement.

(7) The very first printing of this game was called Nightspawn, but it was immediately changed to Nightbane due to Todd McFarlane's bad attitude (who's he gonna sue next - salmon?). All further printings are called Nightbane.

(8) Early printings of Rifts included a number of small errors, missing prices on vibro-blades, etc. These have been corrected in later printings. There is also hardcover limited "Silver" edition and a special autographed "Gold" edition hardcover (Cat #8000G, 600 copies, cost $40.00). The Gold edition is sold out, but several hundred of the Silver edition is still available. The I.S.B.N. listed is for the Silver edition. The Gold edition didn't have an I.S.B.N. number in it.

(9) The Second Edition has 40 more pages of game material, by Wayne Breaux.

(10) It would appear these products had the catalog #, ISBN or both missing from the actual product packaging. If the number is in [], then it is a number supplied by the company to me, that didn't actually appear on the product.

(11) A special edition reprint of the Mechanoids RPG (updated S.D.C. version of Books #1-3) will be part of the Palladium 1998 X-mas Special. It will be limited to that promotion, with any excess being sold through web orders only. The Palladium Fantasy RPG "Crimson" edition hardcover will be limited to 600 copies, and through web order only. It features the Second Edition PFRPG contents, with an imitation leather version of the First Edition PFRPG's original cover.

The full Palladium catalog, which lists all current products, can be found at the Palladium Books web page

Palladium Online Catalog.

1.3. What products are due to be released in the near future?

The following is a list of products mentioned over the last few years. They are divided into "Definite", "Indefinite", and "In Limbo" categories. When possible, the products in the last will have the reason for their placement there. Note that at any time, a product in the "Indefinite" group can move up or down.

From the most recent updates, press releases and chats -

Definite Release Products:

These books have cleared nearly all the hurdles, and are over 90% complete (requiring minor editorial changes), or are set for printing. The order, at last official statement from Palladium, was as follows...

Rifts WB 20: Canada (Being sent to distributors on August 30)
Rifts Novel #3
Rifts WB 21: Splynn Dimensional Market (Going to printer 8/30 - release date 9/21)
HU: Aliens Unlimited (2nd Edition rewrite) (Going to printer 8/30 - release date 9/28)
The Rifter #8 (October 8th release date)
Rifts World Book 22: Free Quebec
Rifts World Book 23: The Xiticix Invasion
Rifts Dimension Book: Phase World Sourcebook 2 - The Anvil Galaxy
Rifts World Book: Mystic Australia (Australia Book 2)
Rifts World Book: Dreamtime (Australia Book 3)

2000 Possible Releases (no Particular order)

A couple MIGHT slip into 1999 - specifically, the first two on the list PFRPG Book Eleven: Eastern Territory Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Second Ed. The Rifter #8 Rifts World Book: Scotland (Planned to be first 2000 release for Rifts, if above books don't fall behind) Rifts World Book: Hong Kong Rifts Chi-Town Burbs Rifts Northern Gun Rifts World Book: Africa 2 PFRPG: Old Kingdom Mountains PFRPG: Old Kingdom Lowlands PFRPG: Land of the Damned PFRPG: Wolfen Wars HU: The Nursery Nightbane: an expansion of the Rifter "Tribes of the Moon" material by Steve Trustrum Nightbane: a book by Wayne Breaux (content not revealed) HU: Hardware Unlimited HU: Galaxy Guide (companion book to Aliens Unlimited) HU: Sentinel City (originally Century City; changed for copyright reasons) HU: Anarchy Unlimited Delphineous' Guide to the Megaverse (HU/PFRPG) PFRPG: Land of the Damned PFRPG: Wolfen Wars Beyond the Supernatural 2nd Edition (Early 2000) Mechanoids Space (tentatively Summer 2000) Rifts Black Market (Late 2000) Rifts China (Fall 2000) Work being started on Antarctica & Middle East Rifts books by freelancers.

In Limbo/Cancelled/On Hold:

New Rifts Miniatures, and a Rifts Miniature combat system by Agents of Gaming: Reason: Agents of Gaming had too many projects going on concurrently, and had to cancel both the Rifts and White Wolf "World of Darkness" mini games, from lack of resources needed to complete them. Rifts World Book: Lemuria (On Hold) Reason: Was being written by a non-author member of the Palladium staff. Other duties prevented him from compleing it, so Kevin plans to eventually finish it himself. Rifts World Book: Japan 2 (The Gods & Oni of Japan) (On Hold) Reason: Kevin wants to write it himself, but has not had the time, due to various reasons (such as his eye surgery). Rifts: The Omegan Order (In Limbo) Reason: Lateness from Freelancers led to shelving? BTS: Darklings, BTS: Nostromo: Agents of Darkness (Cancelled) Reason: Author left Palladium BTS: The Lazlo Agency (In Limbo) Reason: Low Priority, but still being worked on in-house (may be bumped up if the Second Edition of BTS gets done) BTS: The UFO Conspiracy (On Hold) Reason: UFO Conspiracy is by Alex Marciniszyn, another non-author staffer. On hold till he finishes writing it in his spare time. N&S: Mystic China Sourcebook (Cancelled - sorta) Reason: Erick Wujcik. With all the time he was putting in on his own Amber RPG, he felt he couldn't do it right. So, he put the MCSB on the back burner until he feels he has the time.

1.4. Why does Palladium always release items long after their announced release dates?

The following is an excerpt from the letter column of The Majic of Palladium Books #2. It explains most of the details behind this situation.

[Begin quote]

Before we jump into letters and questions, I'd like to address the often asked question of "Why do you advertise books before they arc completed?"

There are several reasons. The most basic is that people want to know what's in the works and want to know when it will be available. Often we will announce a "tentative" date or a "month of" as the release. Unfortunately, many exuberant fans seem to forget the tentative aspect (that means when we hope to have it done) or' seem to think that the month of means the first day of the month. That's okay, we appreciate the enthusiasm, as long as you're not getting mad because the item is delayed.

The other major culprit for actual advance advertisements is that most magazines have a two month lead time, and some, like comic books, have a three or four month lead time. That means we have to do ads for a product that will be out 2 to 4 months from today. If we wait until the book is finished, it will be sitting in our warehouse for a few months with no publicity. Consequently, we have to plan out a schedule and try to stick to it. But you know what they say about "the best laid plans of mice and men."

There are a number of things that can delay a book. The big three are Writer, Artist, Printer. If the writer or artist misses his/her deadline the schedule may become jeopardized. Yes, we do plan for delays, but sometimes things go so wrong that nothing can help. And human beings can only do so much. Then there is the printer. We have two good book printers, but they have their schedules and personnel problems. Most people don't realize that it usually takes FIVE weeks to print a book and sometimes six to nine, weeks. That means we've been done with the book for a month or longer (and are already working on new projects) before we get the finished product to ship to our distributors. We could trim a day here and a week there if we cut quality corners, like not sewing the pages of the big books together, but I want to give our fans a durable game, on better paper, that won't fall apart. I think it's worth the extra week.

There are other factors, but those already mentioned are the most notable. I have to admit that most of you out there are very considerate, polite and understanding. We appreciate that. On the other hand, some of you are a little too patient. If a book is delayed and you have a mail order with us, we always try to send a post card letting you know it has been delayed. As soon the late book is back from the printer we mail 'em out (usually the same day)."

[end MOPB #2 quote]

As for the "other factors" that Kevin and Rick Burke referred to above, here is one of them, that plays a bigger role than it used to for Palladium, now that Palladium uses so many more freelancers.

Some freelancers live hundreds of miles from Palladium, and revisions require sending the text back, having the revisions done, sending it back to Palladium, etc., which can take months, if it ever reaches the point of being printable (example of a completely failed project of this sort: C.J.'s version of Psyscape).

1.5. Who writes for/works for Palladium Books?

The founder, owner, head writer, senior editor, art director and overlord of Palladium Books is Kevin Siembieda. He's been the primary force behind Palladium Books, writing (among other things) The Palladium RPG and Rifts. Kevin's wife Maryann does the typography, internet relations, and a lot more of the miscellaneous duties. Then there's the editor squad: Alex Marciniszyn, James A. Osten, Kevin Kirsten, and Julius Rosenstein. For a list of current employees, go to

Palladium Staff Bios.

1.6. What is Palladium's mailing address?

Palladium Books

12455 Universal Dr.

Taylor, MI 48180

1.7. What is the history of Palladium Books?

This was my original contribution to the FAQ, and answers some of the questions about the origins of the Palladium system. BTW, the role-players mentioned in the group below have their characters' likenesses drawn in the front of the PFRPG book, and several of them were the founders of the Cyber-Knights in Rifts.

The Mechanoids: A brief history

By Kevin Siembieda

(Extracted from the RPG section of the Caliber Press Comic The Mechanoids #1, & reformatted by Stan Bundy)

The Mechanoid Invasion was the very first product to be published by Palladium Books. However, it was not my first idea for a role-playing game. I had created and written the Palladium Role-Playing Game (fantasy) and ran a two and a half year campaign play test. My playing group kept telling me to publish the damn thing. because they thought it was so much fun. Eventually I relented and approached every role-playing game company I could find. The best deal I was offered was $500 and a 1% royalty, so l said to myself, "the heck with it" and dismissed the notion entirely. This only made my friends try a different tact. They began to suggest I publish it myself.

I had been bitten by the publishing bug back in Eighth grade when Alex Marciniszyn and I published our first fanzine (we've been collecting comics forever), so this idea had a certain amount of appeal. Then again, Alex and I had lost our shirts publishing one of the first alternative black and white comic books, A +Plus # 1-5, back in 1977-78, before there was such a thing as alternative press. Even though we lost money, we had learned a great deal, and working on a few other magazines and comics taught me even more. So one day in 1980 I announced that I'd do it. I'd publish the Palladium RPG myself. Heck, I'd start my own publishing empire!

My immediate problem was poverty.

My second problem was that I had two ideas that I felt were critical in the success of my company: the square bound, perfect bound, soft cover paperback format (which Palladium would later pioneer) and the concept of one universal RPG system of rules. I would often hear gamers agonize about the difficulties in trying to adapt one game system to another completely different game system in order to combine ideas, adventures, and equipment. The original Palladium fantasy campaign included a blending of science fiction and technology with fantasy and magic. We had revolvers, particle beam rifles, cyborgs, a tech level, dimensional travel, time paradox, and even Martians, along with the usual fantasy magic, monsters, and fanfare; it all worked very well. I didn't see any reason why such an idea couldn't be marketed. This made me decide to produce a series of RPG environments all based on the same basic game system (which has been a great success and widely imitated).

My next problem was getting the actual bucks to produce the game. The Palladium RPG was my baby, but would cost over $12,000 to produce. All I could scrape together was $3000. I could not bring myself to stray from my vision of the trade paperback fantasy game, so I came up with an alternative idea, to produce a much smaller and less expensive RPG that would earn enough money to allow me to publish the Palladium RPG!

The question then was...what? You don't just toss something together out of the blue, especially as your first product. After a surprisingly little amount of brainstorming I came up with the Mechanoid Invasion.

The idea for the Mechanoids was initially drawn from the techno-level of my fantasy campaign. The release of Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back fueled my imagination and hooked me on the idea of doing a science fiction game. The particle beam rifles, the light body armor, and psionic powers were taken directly from my fantasy campaign, as was the idea of robots, but soon the Mechanoids began to take on a life of their own. Before I knew what happened, the Mechanoid Invasion had turned into a trilogy and I was flying with ideas.

I would call my company Palladium after my fantasy campaign. After all, that is what got the ball rolling, and Books because my goal was to produce RPG books, not boxed games. The Mechanoid Invasion was a finished manuscript by December 1980, but I wouldn't be able to publish the book until 1981.

What did The Mechanoid Invasion look like? Sheesh, it was this flimsy, little, 48 page, comic book size book, printed on newsprint, with a blue and white cover (color was a financial impossibility at that time). The interior was black and white, with a lot of nice art produced by me and a piece or two by my pal, and fellow Detroiter, Bill Loebs (as in William Messner Loebs). The entire book was typed with one finger, on an IBM typewriter, by my roommate, Tony Falzon. The original manuscript was hand written, as were the next ten or so books to follow. Since I was a fairly poor speller (I still ain't no whiz-bang speller) and Tony wasn't much better, the book was riddled with errors/typos, to the tune of about six to ten a page. Cover price, $3.75...

Ah, but the magic was there and the book sold well. The Mechanoid Invasion would be followed by our historical weapons and armor series and The Mechanoid Invasion: Books Two and Three on nicer, white paper, still comic book size. In the Summer of 1983 I was able to publish the Palladium Fantasy RPG and the rest is history.

For more on the history of Palladium from this point on, go to

Palladium Company Profile.

1.8. What other media (books, comics, movies, etc.) is Palladium Books involved in?

Palladium plans to release several Rifts novels; three of them have been written, with the first one hitting the shelves in May 1999.

In 1991, a small, independent comics company called Caliber Press released a licensed comic book based on the Mechanoid RPG by Palladium Books, but only completed 3 of the 5 planned issues. See the Mechanoids section later in the FAQ for more information.

Palladium is negotiations for the possible production of video/computer games, movies, and more, via their contract with Surge Licensing.

In the past, Palladium had the rights to the Robotech TV series and released several video tapes (see 1.2).

Palladium also has a line of T-shirts that you can buy through their catalog.

1.9. What was "The Magic of Palladium Books"?

"The Magic of Palladium Books" was a short-lived house organ published by Palladium Books from 1988 to 1991 that served mainly as a flyer for advertising their products. Seven issues were published, costing 50 cents each; the last was a "double issue", numbered #7/#8. The 'zine is considered a hot collector's item among fans. There was an even older thing called "Palladium Update", but I've never seen it myself. The current speculation at Palladium is that, should the X-Mas special of the last two years return for a third year, a compiled reprint book of these might be the bonus item.

Summaries of MoPB #1-7

#1 June 1988 -
     Cover: B&W reproduction of Robotech: Invid Invasion cover
     Sketches From Robotech II: The Sentinels, including many from the series project that were not used in 
the game itself, such as the all-around model sketches of young Dana & Bowie, many different mecha, Cabell &
Rem, and a heavy form of Invid PA (the Regent's)
     TMNT: Mutants Down Under stats for three animals, pulled from the module due to space constraints.
They are: The Armadillo Lizard, Wallace's Flying Frog & Water Opossum.
     Beyond the Supernatural: First Printing errata, including a discussion on number of attacks per round.
     Nightmares(or the Boogy-Man): Stats for creating Freddy Krueger-type monsters/villains for BtS.
     Letters to Palladium (what few items discussed have long since been answered or superseded),
and the first version of the early Palladium Books History featured elsewhere in the FAQ (only differences
are references to his work at The Judges Guild, and to the state of Gaming in Detroit in the late 1970s).

#2 August 1988 -
     Cover: B&W reproduction of Robotech II: The Sentinels cover
     M.D.C. Modifications for The Mechanoids (not compatible with the listings in Rifts Sourcebook 2). 
Includes the M.D.C. and M.D. weapon settings for the human equipment as well as the Mechanoids.
     An article on how to locate Japanese models & toys for the series that were made into Robotech
(just the Japanese products; none of the actual Robotech toys/re-labels of imports covered).
     Ideas for light, comic relief, game sessions based on TV shows (like stranding TMNT characters with
Gilligan & co., having HU characters encounter Inspector Gadget). The author also suggests going the other
direction, using serious (even deadly) shows and story ideas from TV or movies.
     More letters (including the correction of the 1D4x100/1D4x10 M.D. typo for the Zentraedi Fighter Pod).

#3 March 1989 -
     Cover: Art from Transdimensional TMNT, COLORED expressly for putting it on the cover of MoPB.
     The MR-02 Protector Battloid (left out of Robotech: Southern Cross, but references accidentally
left in the books)
     More Letters
     Color Art of the AWESOME Cyclone costume made by a fan (has CVR, Gallant, EP-37, and EP-40 separate
from the Cyclone, and the Cyclone itself (a VR-052-F with the Arm missiles) HAS BOTH MODES, AND ATTACHES TO
THE CVR(with help) to go from being a motorcycle to the battle armor!
     N&S (old) errata
     A TMNT mini-adventure: The Owl & the Pussycat
     The Experience Point Tables left out of the first printing of Robotech: Invid Invasion.

#4 September 1989
     Cover: Two combined Sketches, colored - A VR-041 Cyclone cutting into the top of an Invid Trooper
with its sabers, and Raphael & Donatello striking a dramatic pose with their weapons.
     "Bitter Fruit for Mutants" - Erick Wujcik's answer to those who kill off Doc Feral too soon; 
after all, the public at large sees Feral as a benefactor. Mutants killing him would only make people
believe his anti-mutant diatribe, elevating him to martyr. This leads to the formation of the Office of
Mutant Affairs and the Mutant Detention Logistics Agency (stats for OMA & MDLA agents and equipment).
     Ad/preview of Robotech: Return of the Masters.
     The LRV-558 Land Recon Vehicle: Designed in the MoPB article as an Invid-era nuclear scout car, it 
was recently redone in Robotech: Strike Force as a protoculture-powered LRV-588 (which KS said was a typo 
that instead of being corrected, the correct number got changed - sort of like the incident with one of the
AD&D monsters during their 2nd edition changeover). One thing that Strike Force doesn't have is the NICE
full-page color art of the Battloid LRV-558 by Kevin Long. Note: in both the LRV-558 and LRV-588, the 
art doesn't reflect the stats, as there are references to doors, etc. which aren't present in the art
(which appears to have a cockpit-style hatch).
     A tribute To Kevin S.'s mother, who died in July 1989.

#5 February 1990
     Cover: A still from the first TMNT movie (of Leonardo).
     Compendium of Weapons, Armor & Castles errata: The chart for bows, slings, spearthrower &
blowguns that was accidentally left out of the book.
     6 pages of B&W and color stills and info from the first TMNT movie.
     The first mention of Rifts (including rough sketches of CS armor helmets)

#6 June 1990
     Cover: B&W; Robotech, Rifts & TMNT emblems, with art for each.
     Announcements of the ill-fated Mechanoids comic and BtS: Nostrodom projects.
     4 Pages of Rifts Art
     4 pages of Outtakes from Robotech: Lancer's Rockers; mostly floor plans cut due to space constraints
(space? When they put in an unneeded full page drawing of Lancer, another character sheet for those silly 
instrumecha, and a full page ad for the Sentinels Video in the module? - sorry for editorializing. Stan)

#7/8 August 1991
     Cover: Wild Vampire feeding, from Rifts World Book 1: Vampire Kingdoms
	Announcement of the acquisition of the Robotech Southern Cross tapes;
	A Palladium history (up to 1991), represented (in edited form) on Palladium's web page
 The Palladium Books Company Profile
	Ten Pages of questions and answers (from letters), including the very explanation of how Rifts 
Universal Credits work, and how to pronounce Siembieda (Sem-bee-da);
	A morale system (that some player evidently based off the AD&D version);
	Tips on running an RPG campaign, by Erick Wujcik and Kevin Siembieda;
	A small article on confusion surrounding Vampire Kingdoms' release date, where people were
reporting it in stores 2 months before it was PRINTED.
	Coming Attractions, including the forever-delayed Recon revision, and a never-printed supplement
on the Island Kingdom of Lopan. 
	Four pages of guidelines for converting old Ninjas & Superspies stuff to be compatible with the
revised version.

1.10. What was the "Palladium vs. Wizards of the Coast" lawsuit all about?

WOTC came out with a line of products that listed conversion notes for items using the Palladium System and several others (it was a generic game line) and they did not seek Palladium's approval over the use of the their rules and trademarks. Palladium then sued WOTC over this. This also sparked a huge flame war, K.S. had a presence on the net (e-mail) and ended up leaving the net after all the flames he received. [Anybody have more information?]

1.11. Is it true that Kevin threatened to sue any gaming magazines that published material for Palladium games?

Not exactly. GDW was being prickish (may they rest in peace; GDW went out of business in January 1996, ironically partially due to costs incurred from the lawsuit they lost to TSR). Actually, what Kevin wanted was editorial approval of the articles. This meant that, if a magazine wanted to print a non-review (i.e. adventure or other supplement) article for Rifts or other Palladium games, Kevin wanted the right to review it, and reject any part of the article that might conflict with the company's plans for Rifts (especially), etc. There was also the matter of the potential license difficulties that would have cropped up for TMNT or Robotech RPG articles. GDW (then publisher of Journeys & Challenge magazines) took the stance that "We don't need your articles, if your restrictions mean a 1-3 month delay in an article seeing print." The misunderstandings spread from there, with the result of both companies thinking that the other side wasn't willing to negotiate at all. And, before they could work it out, GDW had more important things to do (i.e. the TSR lawsuit, which TSR won, winning the Dangerous Journeys RPG and the Journeys Magazine).

1.12. I have this neat idea for a Palladium game sourcebook. What are the chances of getting it published?

It all depends on your skill, and the content. The guidelines for submissions are at the following address:

Palladium Unsolicited Manuscript Release Form.

Note that stuff released on the internet CANNOT be considered for a book, but CAN be submitted to The Rifter.

A good article on how to write freelance for game companies is at the following site, by one of the most prolific GURPS freelancers for Steve Jackson Games, David Pulver.

Tips on Writing Freelance

1.13. What is THE RIFTER?

The Rifter is a quarterly supplement/magazine for the entire Palladium line of games. Of current game products by other companies, it most closely resembles West End Games' Star Wars Adventure Journal, only with a lot more fan input, including items previously available only from fans' internet web pages. It is the only Palladium product that will be an exception to the rule against submissions that have been on the net.

Go to the following page for a full description of this new supplement, as well as a link to submission guidelines.

Rifter submission and publication info.

Section 2: General Game Mechanics Questions

2.1. The Great M.D.C. Debate.

Some people think that the M.D.C. system is broken. Others think it should be reduced to 10/1 or 25/1 ratios instead of 100/1. Personally, I find the S.D.C. games to be broken, and think they should be converted to use M.D.C.! The reason S.D.C. games are even less realistic than the M.D.C. games, IMO, is that we have had machines that are M.D.C. for decades (tanks), yet in the S.D.C. games, they're barely twice as tough as a station wagon.

HOWEVER, NEVER TRY DISCUSSING THIS ON THE MAILING LIST!!!! It is a dead issue, because no good comes from the flame wars it causes, and bringing it up can be grounds for banishment from the ML.

2.2. How many attacks per melee does a starting character have?

Good Question, but one that's gotten as bad as the one above. DON'T ASK IT! The following is a step-by-step journey into the morass that is the HTH debate....

  1. Initially, it was always assumed that the base listed for a HTH type was the base, except for in Heroes Unlimited, where characters had an additional 2 attacks each to accent the "heroic" nature of the game. Beyond the Supernatural's main book NPCs also follow this pattern, but the ones in Boxed Nightmares DO NOT.

  2. Maryann has stated that it is 2 attacks plus HTH (as in HU & BTS). However, NONE of the games outside HU and BTS support this, in terms of the listed number of attacks of their NPCs printed.

  3. In fact, ALL NPCs printed in/for Ninjas & Superspies, TMNT/After the Bomb, Robotech(including Sentinels), BTS: Boxed Nightmares, Macross II, Nightbane, and PFRPG 2nd Edition books, plus those from the first 23 Rifts books (Main book through CWC, + Index, Game shield adventures, and Manhunter), have the non-alien or HU-derived NPCs with HTH skills starting with the base for the style (not base +2), before counting boxing. Yes, I DID go through the trouble of going through ALL the books to research this.

  4. It was at this point that Maryann issued her ruling. But, of all the non-HU books published since then, only Rifts New West NPCs and the single NPC from Psyscape obey it (and even the latter, head of the CS Psi-Bat, is listed as having HTH Martial Arts in her skills, but her combat stats are written up as if HTH Commando possessed), while the NPCs from Coalition Navy, Federation of Magic, and Rifts Index & Adventures Volume Two use the old system. This has led to even more confusion.

  5. The PFRPG 2nd Edition HTH descriptions SPECIFICALLY state "STARTS WITH" (Emphasis mine) at the beginning of each HTH description. Again, this seems to preclude the 2+2 system, and it is in THEIR NEWEST "MAIN BOOK" PRODUCT. (Page 47) Furthermore, in the "Psychic Combat" section (Page 48), the above is confirmed by the following quote:

    "A reminder: Most player characters start off with two attacks per 15 second melee round. Additional attacks may be acquired as one ADVANCES IN HAND TO HAND COMBAT EXPERIENCE and from the boxing skill, special bonuses or magic. The average person, not trained in combat, will only have one attack per melee round. Experienced fighters will have an average of THREE to six attacks per melee, sometimes more." (Emphasis mine).

    Not only does the second sentence specifically state that the additional skills from HTH come from ADVANCEMENT & EXPERIENCE, the last sentence, concerning EXPERIENCED fighters only make sense with the HTH base system. EVEN IF SECOND level was considered "experienced" (highly unlikely), there would be NO POSSIBILITY of characters of 2nd+ level having less than 4 attacks using the 2+2 system. (Basic, Expert & Martial Arts would have 4 or 5, Assassin 5 or 6 - the latter numbers for each being with boxing).

  6. The case is pretty strong, and it does not support 2+2, except for HU (which it actually fits). HU, being a heroic game, should have such an edge, but the other games not only don't need it, for all appearances, they've never had it in the first place.

  7. The existence of Mecha/RPA combat further complicates things. First, there is the matter of the numbers of attacks that result from these skills. To quote the Robot Combat section of Macross II (Robotech & Rifts have analogous text, differing only in terms referential to the vehicles involved), Specifically, the "Determining the Number of Attacks Per Melee and Combat Bonuses") contains the following quote:

    "This is how it works. Players will find two skills that exclusively determine the pilot's number of attacks when piloting a high-tech robot or power armor: 1) The pilot's normal, hand to hand combat/fighting skills, and 2) The pilot's Robot Combat skill. Simply combine the number of attacks and from each (and level of experience). The total number indicates the total attacks per melee possible. Most first level pilots, with both skills, will have a total of FOUR attacks per melee." Macross II RPG, page 36, left column, 2nd paragraph under the heading above.

    The emphasis on "FOUR" is PALLADIUM's, not mine. The text in the description above FIRMLY supports the "Base-only" interpretation, in ALL the books for M.D.C. games (Rifts, Macross II & Robotech).

  8. Next, we have an exercise in game mechanics, using the various mecha/RPA games' pilot O.C.C.s and elite combat skills, comparing them to a Heroes Unlimited character with the sonic speed power. These examples are assuming the 2+Base system is correct, and shows why it SHOULDN'T BE.


    a: HU (Revised) character (11th): 2 + HTH: Martial Arts(2) + 2(advancement in HTH:MA) + Boxing(1) + Sonic Speed (3 = 2 + 1 at 3rd level) = 10 Attacks;

    b: HU (2nd edition) character (11th): 2 + HTH: Martial Arts(2) + 2(advancement in HTH:MA) + Boxing(1) + Sonic Speed (4 = 1 + 1 at 3rd, 6th & 9th levels) = 11 Attacks;

    c. Glitter Boy Pilot (11th): 2 + HTH: Martial Arts(2) + 2(advancement in HTH:MA) + Boxing(1) + PA Combat Elite: GB (4 = 2 + 2 from advancement) = 11 Attacks;

    d. Robotech Destroid Pilot (10th)*: 2 + HTH: Martial Arts(2) + 2(advancement in HTH:MA) + Boxing(1) + Mecha Combat Elite: Gladiator (5 = 3 + 2 from advancement) = 12 Attacks;

    e. (Brace yourself) Macross II Valkyrie Pilot (11th)**: 2 + HTH: Martial Arts(2) + 2(advancement in HTH:MA) + Boxing(1) + Robot Combat Elite: VF-2 (4 = 2 + 2 from advancement) = 11 Attacks, PLUS the character's mecha has AUTODODGE!!!

    * Most extreme conventional example I could think of, though several other Robotech & Rifts designs also start off with 3 additional attacks, but don't get their 2nd additional Mecha/RPA attack until 11th or 12th level.

    ** This is down-right scary, as the autododge means that the character will rarely EVER use any of the 11 attacks for defensive purposes, unlike the first three examples.

    In other words, by 11th level, pilots with Elite combat in their vehicle have AS MANY, OR MORE attacks than a speedster of the same level!

  9. On the other hand, the following rule clarification (also from Maryann, after my bringing up this matter) makes this a little (not much) more bearable. There are ways to tone down the sudden overpowering of Mecha/RPA characters' actions, without sacrificing game mechanics. In fact, the first of these methods is part of the game mechanics that is generally overlooked, in terms of smooth play (and because Kevin never wrote them into his example of how combat works). Essentially, it revolves around two skills required for most mecha/RPA operation, but not really defined as to WHAT they are really used for, other than in the most basic terms.

    To shoot at a target, one must target it, unless shooting wild (or a spray). To target something, generally the combat and targeting computers must acquire it, and figure out the appropriate aim. Then, there is the matter of choosing which weapon (and conceivably, the ammo type as well). There are skills for this: Read Sensory Equipment (R.S. Instruments in Robotech) and Weapon Systems.

    Effectively, before combat starts, and whenever new combatants (or non-combatants) enter sensor range, a RSE roll must be made. This would not take an attack, unless one is specifically trying to identify a target as friend or foe by sensors alone, or if one is trying to use sensors where ECM is being used (the ECM skill is in Rifts WB11: CWC, but active sensors can be jammed just as easy as - if not more often than - communications, but makes you an even bigger target for sensor-homing munitions, as jammers overload the sensor with signal, not obscure it like stealth design). Failure of the RSE should make it more difficult to use the Weapon Systems skill in combat (say, ½ normal ability?).

    Now, for each SINGLE target, a Weapon Systems roll will be needed to lock on, otherwise the shot is considered a wild shot (no bonuses other than P.P. - if applicable). Penalties from ECM, obstructions, or other interference from the environment may apply. Acquiring a NEW target (or switching to a new target) would require a Weapon Systems roll, taking up one of the pilot's actions. Environmental modifiers (as above) may apply. In other words, changing targets requires a RSE and/or Weapon Systems roll, which may take up one attack.

    Similarly, going for a called shot with a ranged weapon would also require much more effort than normal, general, targeting, and takes an additional action (over and above that for switching targets, when applicable). Switching weapons (to/between ranged weapons), while going after the same target as before, would require a Weapon Systems roll to switch, but may or may not count as an action. (GM call) When I asked Palladium about these, the response was:

    "1) Although the examples presented are subject to situational modifiers and ultimately up to the discretion of the GM, they are essentially correct.

    2) RSE does NOT count as an action if taken before combat actually begins. Once combat is initiated, RSE counts as an action from then on. Using the WS skill definitely counts as an action. The GM may allow both skills to count as a single action if they are used simultaneously.

    Maryann/Julius, Palladium"

  10. However, a much simpler method can be to use the 2+Base system in the S.D.C. games (where the extra attacks are more appreciated and useful), and remain using the base system in Robotech, Rifts, and Macross II, as the additional skill rolls will only serve to drag out combat even longer (especially if the players aren't used to them).

    In fact, the following excerpt from the Beyond the Supernatural errata (from MOPB #1) suggests something similar (though before Rifts or Nightbane came out), and states flat out that BtS characters were NOT supposed to get the 2+Base method, despite that RPG main book being the only book to ever use it outside of HU, prior to 1998!!

    "PAGE 45: A question about hand to hand combat. Do characters get two attacks per melee automatically plus two attacks from Hand to Hand combat skills? Well it depends. Randy and I saw the BTS characters as being more vulnerable, normalish, people. That means they would have two attacks per melee only if they took a hand to hand skill and ONE attack per melee if they had no combat training. Additional attacks per melee come with greater hand to hand skill experience.

    However, if you want a more combat oriented game, or if you are combining BTS with Heroes Unlimited or Ninjas & Superspies, you should probably start the characters off with two attacks plus the two attacks gained from any hand to hand skills (total of 4 attacks at first level). This will make them more compatible with superhero types." (Beyond the Supernatural Errata, The Magic of Palladium Books #1, June 1988).

    Also note that Ninjas and Superspies itself said in its revised edition, in the very first conversion note for using Heroes Unlimited and Ninjas & Superspies together, that the martial arts ARE NOT combined with the base two attacks of Heroes Unlimited! And, that even if a HU character (such as physical training) has a Martial Art Form, only the number of attacks from the Martial Arts Form are gained, not the base two plus the form.

  11. One, very definitive analysis of the methodology for the Base-only system is on the following web page, by Dustin Ramsey/Kralizec!
Ramsey's Attacks Per Melee methodology

The following is a shortened version of it...

1. All humans start out with one attack per melee. (This is a 'base' number of attacks) Individuals without any combat training will gain one additional attack at levels three and nine (Main Rifts book, pg. 28).

2. Learning the hand-to-hand combat skills Basic, Expert, and Martial Arts provides a first level character with one additional attack per melee. The hand-to-hand combat skill Assassin does NOT provide an additional attack at level one, but gives TWO additional attacks at level two.

3. If selected, the Boxing skill also provides the character with one more attack per melee.

4. Special occupational training (Bonuses given it the O.C.C.) may give the character extra attacks per melee. Rifts examples include Juicers & Cyber-Knights, among others.

5. Unless otherwise stated, non-humans are gain and accumulate hand-to-hand attacks in the EXACT same manner as humans. The exception to this is the base number of attacks that the being starts with. Carte blanche statements such as "three attacks per melee plus those gained from hand-to-hand combat training" (Centaurs from the Conversion book, pg. 113) and "four without any hand-to-hand combat training, or four plus those gained from hand-to-hand combat and/or boxing" (Rahu-Men from the Conversion book, pg. 154) mean that the particular race's base number of attacks is three for Centaurs and four for Rahu-Men. Statements such as "two without any combat training, or one plus those gained from hand-to-hand combat and/or boxing" (Wolfen, Conversion book, pg. 86) and "two without any combat training, or one plus those gained from hand-to-hand combat and/or boxing" (Gigantes, Conversion book, pg. 96) means that characters without a HTH skill have a base number of attacks of two, while those with HTH have a base number of one attack per melee.

2.3. Why are Rifts Mecha so much more powerful than Robotech mecha?

The Real reason is the age of the Robotech RPG, which was the first game to use M.D.C. Since its creation, a lot of work had to be done to better balance the system for use in Rifts (example - compare the Abm Mechanoid stats in Rifts SB 2 to the conversions from The Magic of Palladium Books #2 or the Palladium Update (an even older company newsletter that I've never seen myself). But, on a purely game mechanics level, consider the following.

Several things contribute to this situation.

A. Differences in materials technology: While Robotech Earth may have gotten some technical help from the SDF-1, even the REF designs date from circa 2020. On Rifts Earth, technology evolved under similar pressure, but directed against planetary enemies, up to the coming of the Rifts in 2098. So, even if Robotech mecha got a 25-year boost from materials recovered from the SDF-1, it would still be 50 YEARS behind Pre-rifts technology. So, weapons are weaker, armor is weaker, etc.

B. Differences in emphasis: Rifts RPA/mecha are more oriented toward firepower and survivability; hence the boom gun and ungodly MDC of the Glitter Boy types. The same holds true for most other Coalition, Triax and independent equipment. Robotech mecha, however, were designed with maneuverability and speed in mind, as well as the various Veritech mechas' ability to change modes. In order to get such things, the Robotech mecha sacrifice some protection and weaponry in order to get an advantage in their form of battle. See the following comparison:

World    | Enemy types                        | Effect on designs
Rifts    | Equal numbers (usually), with      | RPA designed to both give and take punishment;
         | generally equal power & armor      | emphasis on Quick kills and soaking damage
         |                                    |
Robotech | Enemy has vastly superior numbers, | Mecha designed to avoid mass attacks by
         | but inferior power and armor       | maneuvering, and with lots of low-power weapons 
         |                                    | to prevent overkill and preserve ability to
         |                                    | make many kills

The Macross II mecha seem to have the best of both worlds. Their technology has the same emphasis as in Robotech, but has had just as much time to develop as Rifts Earth (though the development was in fits and starts, as indicated in the videos; the Metal Siren was the first radically new mecha in at least a decade).

2.4. Why can some R.C.C.s have a O.C.C. and others can't?

This is another Palladium oversight. In reality, there should be THREE distinct classifications:

1. Occupational Character Classes: These are your run-of-the-mill character classes, well described in Rifts and other RPGs.

2. Races: A Race is an intelligent, usually humanoid, species. A Race has a diverse populace that can select a variety of O.C.C.s. Humans, Elves, and True Atlanteans are all excellent examples of a Race. Some Races have limits on the classes they can select based on intelligence, genetic or cultural factors.

3. Racial Character Classes: A Racial character class is a race whose incentive (whether genetic or cultural) to have one particular occupation is so strong that all (or virtually all) members of said species possess that Occupation. Good examples are: Dragons, Dog Boys and Simvan. This also includes those species not intelligent enough to select an O.C.C., such as Grimbor or Seekers. Anything less intelligent is considered a monster or animal.

There is a 4th, meta-group called Psychic Character Classes, some of which were labeled R.C.C.s in Rifts. The reason for this, is that to take a Psychic R.C.C./P.C.C., one has to belong to a race that can have psionics. Otherwise, they follow the rules for O.C.C.s.

2.5. How do I roll attributes and bonus dice?

It has generally been stated in most games that the only circumstances in which you receive bonus dice are:

If rolling 2D6, if you roll a 12 you get to roll *1* additional die.

If rolling 3D6, if you roll 16, 17, 18 you get to roll *1* additional die.

  1. However, the first Rifts Conversion Book states otherwise, on page 25, in the section titled "Attributes". Thanks to Ronald Young for pointing this out. The relevant sentences are quoted below:

    "Normal humans always roll three (3) six-sided dice for each attribute. A roll of 16, 17, or 18, means the an [sic] additional six-sided die is rolled and added to that attribute. If a six is rolled, another six-sided die is rolled and its number also added to that particular attribute."

    This method is also used in both Heroes Unlimited 2nd Edition, and Palladium Fantasy 2nd Edition, but is not found in any of the other games. However, it would explain some "blips" in NPC stats, such as Lynn-Kyle's M.A. of 25 in the Robotech RPG.

    The clearest explanation of this method comes from PFRPG 2nd Edition, page 14.

    "An exceptional roll for humans and other characters who determine an attribute with the roll of three six-sided dice (3D6) is a roll of 16, 17, or 18. If any of these numbers are rolled, the player gets to roll an additional one six-sided die (1D6) and add it to his total. If a six is rolled, the player adds the six to his or her character's attribute and roll 1D6 again, and add that number also to his character's total attribute number. However, even if this last roll is a six, the player does not roll again. Note that such rolls are relatively rare, so it is very unlikely for a human player to have several attributes (4 or more) with attributes higher than 18."

  2. Note that some games (Robotech II: The Sentinels, being one of them) give the bonus die for 2D6 for an 11 as well.
  3. Nowhere is it stated that dice with bonuses do not get the bonus die. If they did not get the bonus, it would mean that a person with 3D6 for a stat has a higher potential maximum attribute score than one with 3D6+1, or even 3D6+5! Logically, you should roll the dice, check for the bonus die, roll the bonus die (if warranted), THEN add the racial bonuses.
  4. Races with 4+dice (including dice times a multiplier for optional R.C.C.s from Monsters & Animals, Rifts Conversion Book, etc.) DO NOT get bonus dice in that attribute. However, Aliens Unlimited allows Alien characters to get bonus dice on ANY 16-18, not just natural 16-18 from the die roll, and for any number of dice.

The following web page has an alternate treatment for this situation: Ramsey's attribute methodology

2.6. What is "Standard" Rate of Fire?

Palladium's answer to this is on their page:

Palladium OOPS! Page.

I suggest a further modification, as follows:

Note that "Automatic Pistol" is a misnomer, being short for "SEMI-Automatic Auto-loading Pistol" (Treat "Machine Pistols" as submachineguns). As such, all conventional pistols are Standard ROF, with the exception of the following three, built for military/special ops use: 93R Selective Fire Beretta, Stetchkin, and the Heckler and Koch VP70, a rare pistol that was automatic ONLY when its shoulder stock was attached, as the stock's connections enabled the auto-fire mode.


A Semi-Automatic Weapon. If the weapon has an ammo capacity of 8+ rounds, the character can fire short bursts through rapid pulling of the trigger, but CANNOT fire long or full melee bursts.


Not just energy weapons, but projectile weapons (like the M16A2) that have a setting that fires a burst of 3-5 (differs by weapon) rounds as a result of one trigger pull. Despite the low number of rounds (compared to ammo capacity), this burst is considered a short burst for damage (unless pulse damage already given), and a long burst can be attempted by firing multiple, rapid trigger pulls (usually 4) at one target. Full melee/empty magazine bursts are not possible with this weapon type.


A fully automatic weapon. Capable of all kinds of burst fire.

2.7. How Does Mini-Missile Guidance work? The different RPGs conflict each other!

There are two different types of mini-missile guidance: internal and command.

Internal guidance is the type used in Macross II, and seems (from references in the book) to be the type used by the Coalition RPA in Coalition War Campaign (Rifts World Book 11). Such guidance is essentially a more limited version of that of larger missiles.

Command guidance, however, is that used by Robotech and (other) Rifts mini-missiles, and they are often mistakenly referred to as having no guidance at all. Command guidance means that the missiles are controlled by the launcher. In the high-tech games, this is by laser designation of the target, or use of laser signals to the missiles themselves to alter their course; but older, 20th century tech missiles got similar performance by way of wires or fiber optic cables that spooled out from the back of the missile in flight, on which the commands were sent. Radio signals were not used, as they could be too easily jammed. With laser designation, the missiles automatically calibrate to that SPECIFIC launcher's laser frequency in the targeting computer, and when launched will track the reflected light to the target. However, the target must de designated up to the time of impact; with ranges of a mile or less, this isn't a problem with mini-missiles, unless you want to change targets. Changing from one target at a range over 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) to any other takes one attack to let the missiles in flight reach their target.

 Guidance Type | Advantages                          | Disadvantages
 Internal      | Always +3 to strike, plus WS bonus  | Cannot be used for called shots
               | 4 or more cannot be dodged          | No control after launch
               |                                     | PP & WP do not add in
 Command       | PP & WP bonuses to strike, plus WS  | Launching 3 or more counts as Burst
               | Can be used for called shot         | Any number can be dodged
               | Can be redirected in flight*        | Must have line of sight to hit
* Easier said than done, considering the speed of the missiles. Firer must first realize the mistake in missile flight, and then to redirect requires a strike roll with no bonuses, and a penalty equal to the pilot's PP-20; PPs over 20 DO NOT get a bonus this way, only no penalty. The redirection can be at nothing (i.e. the empty space beyond the original target, or another target within 50 feet/15m of the original. A pure miss on the redirection attempt means the original target is still hit; a miss due to penalties hits halfway between the old and new targets, and a miss due to dodge is treated normally. Note that, depending of the situation, both the old and new targets may still be in the blast radius of a miss, or even a successful redirection!

How Command Guidance Works(optional rule): It is commonly thought that mini-missiles are totally unguided. This is not true. In fact, they are more accurate than most guided missiles! Mini-missiles use what is known as COMMAND GUIDANCE; in other words, it is the launcher, not the missile itself that provides the steering commands. The exact process is described below.

Step One: Laser Designation. Also called "painting the target." For Robotech, this is the primary purpose of the targeting system that pops out of the shoulder of GR-103/GR-97-equipped Cyclones; the RL-6 has its own internal system that serves the same function. All Rifts RPA and weapons that fire mini-missiles will have similar systems. The targeting laser is aimed at an impact point chosen by the pilot, on which the missiles will home. Mini-Missiles CAN be used for single-missile called shots, but at normal penalties.

Step Two: Launch. The missiles are launched at the target; remember that only single missiles can be used for aimed shots, as multiple missiles would interfere with each other when trying to hit such a small target. One or two missiles are +3 to hit, three or more are +1 to hit (as per WP rules; If WP Heavy actually possessed, use its bonuses instead). Add in bonuses for High P.P., the targeting system, and/or Cyclone Weapon Systems, if applicable.

Step Three: Tracking. Remember that these missiles have to track to their targets; if the firer has to dodge, the missiles will no longer have guidance, and will continue on their last course in a straight line. Unless the target is stationary, this will always result in a miss.

Any target under 500 feet distance requires less than a second to reach, and won't interfere with an autododge, if possessed by the firer (except vs. simultaneous attacks).

Targets at 501-1500 feet force the firer to waive the ability to dodge for one attack sequence.

Targets at 1501 feet to 1/2 mile cause the firer to lose the next attacks' action (if one possessed), WITH ONE EXCEPTION. If the firer still has both attacks and missiles remaining, he can fire another salvo at the same target while guiding the first missiles in (requiring another strike roll). The first volley of missiles hit at the end of the second action sequence, the second volley (if fired) at the end of the third, and so on. As long as missiles & attacks remain, continuing fire can be used.

Targets at 1/2 mile to 1 mile range can only be hit by certain mini-missiles. The rules are the same as for the last range, except that TWO attacks, not one are lost. The Continuing fire option is still available, however.

2.8. Why should my character worry about a fall? My armor will take it...

It is a common misconception that persons in body armor (especially M.D.C. armor) are protected from the impact of long falls. After all, falling damage is S.D.C. However, the damage from falling is from the sudden stop at the end, and is from the compression that results from the stop as much as from the surface impacted. As a result, body armor, force fields, or even magical and psionic protections from impact damage (Armor of Ithan, Invulnerability's additional energy field, Psychic Body Field, etc.), do NOT have any affect on reducing the damage from the impact. This was confirmed by the Siembiedas in the March 23, 1999 online chat on the Palladium web page.

2.9. What's with all these rule changes? They're slowing combat!

I know what you mean. Recently, Palladium has even gone on record making (as of HU2) a roll with Impact take an action, and saying that PP bonuses don't apply to RPA/mecha weapons, when originally, the opposite was true for each (and an integral part of the game - without PP bonuses, what differentiates Max Sterling from someone with minimal stats, but the same skills?). Add to these the addition of two attacks per round to RPGs not designed for them (I.E. all the M.D.C. games), power creep and more, and you get a real mess.

The following is a suggestion on how to handle things. Essentially, the current rules, versus a set of fast-play rules (most of which are actually the ORIGINAL rules). Using the latter will generally speed play, and make the game more enjoyable.

Current, Official (or implied) Rule             Fast Play Rule
                                                (Italics = old official rule)
2 attacks + attacks gained from HTH             1 Attack without HTH, or by HTH skill taken, 
                                                for all mecha/RPA based RPGs (Robotech, Rifts, MacII)

HTH applies only to Number of Attacks and       HTH bonuses apply to all attacks, save missile
actual, physical RPA/Mecha HTH Combat, not      attacks, as the rules for all those games
to any ranged attacks.                          actually state.

Physical prowess does not apply to RPA/mecha    P.P. Applies to all RPA/mecha combat, except
combat, except in actual HTH combat with them.  guided missiles (does add to mini-missiles).

Roll with Impact takes an attack.               Roll with Impact does not take an attack if only
                                                one attack rolled against, each action. Rolling
                                                against multiple attacks takes 1 action for each after
                                                the first, unless automatic roll possessed.

To get bonuses to hit in RPA/mecha, one has     Read Sensory is rolled once, often before the
to roll each time a new target or weapon is     fight begins, and needs rolled in combat only if
chosen, versus Read Sensory or Weapon           the first (pre-combat) attempt fails, an ambush
Systems (both if doing both), which takes up    prevents the pre-combat roll, combatants enter a
an attack when done, singly or combined.        battle in progress, technical problems, or
                                                special detection rolls needed.
                                                Weapon Systems rolls normally do not require an
                                                action, save to make special rolls, like fire-
                                                linking weapons, aimed shots, etc.

Modern Weapons are -10 for pedestrians to       Modern Weapons are -10 to dodge, but any
dodge, and no bonuses apply, other than         and all bonuses apply.
target speed penalties (from HU).               (Combination of two rules sets)

Spells take half your actions in a round for    Spells take 1 action, +1 for every 3 levels of
a low-level spell, a full round for a mid-      the spell (rounding up, for a total of 2-6)
level spell, 2 rounds for a high-level spell.

Psionic powers take one action, but may have    Ignore meditation times out of combat.
meditation times that can kill minutes          In combat, powers requiring meditation are
(if not the character, from the delay).         penalized somehow. (no offensive combat in same
                                                round, or double ISP, time, half effect, etc.)
                                                Penalty should be decided before the campaign
                                                begins, and be the same for everyone, hero or villain.

Section 3: The Palladium Fantasy RPG

3.1. What is the Palladium Fantasy RPG?

The Palladium RPG (The Palladium Fantasy Role-Playing Game, PFRPG) is a traditional fantasy game. Players choose from a variety of races, ranging from the "standards" such as humans, elves, dwarves, orcs, gnomes, etc.; to more exotic races such as wolfen and changelings. Character classes range from the men of arms (mercenaries, knights, palladins, etc.) and standard users of magic (wizard), clergy (priest); to more unusual magic-users such as the summoner (circle magic), diabolist (wards), and mind mage (psionics; not really magic).

3.2. What changes are there between the 1st and the 2nd Editions?

Five major changes have occurred.
  1. The adoption of Structural Damage Capacity for living creatures, such as characters(matching the other in-print games).
  2. Revision of the magic system to use P.P.E.
  3. Revision of the Psionics into the standard four categories from BtS, Rifts and Nightbane (instead of being level-based).
  4. Revision of the skill system to a Rifts-style system.
  5. The deities and dragons have been moved to the new product, Dragons & Gods.

3.3. How do you handle characters who switch classes?

Detailed rules for switching classes are provided on page 10 of the (2nd Edition) Adventures on the High Seas.

3.4. Whatever happened to those little pamphlet supplements for weapons, castles, etc.?

They are no longer in print. Most of the information within has been consolidated in the "Compendium of Weapons, Armor, and Castles".

3.5. What is the "sexual deviations" table?

The Sexual Deviation table is a subsection of the Neurosis insanity table that was included in early printings of the Palladium RPG. Ironically, it was written by a psychologist. It was removed from later printings for several reasons, ranging from the reclassification of Homosexuality as not being an insanity, to the total unsuitability of many of the rest for a role-playing environment (such as pedophilia, etc.). Maryann has specifically asked that this table not be presented here, so I have pulled it in my revision. If you want to play (or be) a depraved psychopath, go buy White Wolf's Black Dog games products.

3.6. How do I handle P.B. for changelings?

Always a issue open to spirited debate. However, the following appears to be the correct interpretation.

The P.B. stat reflects only the NATURAL beauty of the character. The character can have an P.B. he wishes when transformed. However, the maximum P.B. must be one that the character has seen before on a member of the race being imitated. In other words, if a changeling has seen an elf with P.B. 25, he can mimic an elf with similar P.B. (Different features, but up to P.B. 25). However, unless the changeling has seen a human with such god-like looks, they cannot choose a human form with such high P.B. Several N.P.C. changelings that have appeared in various sources seem to have the ability to shape their P.B. into anything they desire, but considering the travel most changelings do to protect their identity, they most likely built a repertoire of persons with high P.B. to work from.

Section 4: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

4.1. What is the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles RPG?

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles RPG (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Other Strangeness, TMNT) is a modern mystery/action game based around the (original) TMNT comics. (NOTE: The TV shows and action figures (and to a lesser extent, the movies) are the "kiddified" TMNT, while the game is based on the comics, which are much more gritty and adult.) Players choose an animal type, and use Bio-E (Biological Energy) to give the character more human-like features, as well as powers relating to the type of animal chosen.

4.2. Where do I find X mutant animal?

MDU     Mutants Down Under          MiA     Mutants in Avalon
MiO     Mutants in Orbit            MotY    Mutants of the Yucatan
RH      Road Hogs                   TDT     Transdimensional T.M.N.T.
TMNT    T.M.N.T. Main Book          MoPB    The Magic of Palladium Books #1
TT      Truckin' Turtles

Animal             Book/Page | Animal              Book/Page | Animal                 Book/Page
======             ========= + ======              ========= + ======                 =========
                             |                               | 
Aardvark            TMNT 29  | Hedgehog             MiA 13   | Slow-Worm               MiA 17
Alligator           TMNT 29  | Heron                MiA 14   | Smilodon/Saber Tooth    TDT 29
Allosauroid         TDT 17   | Hippopotomus         TMNT 40  | Snake                   MDU 22
Ankylosauroid       TDT 19   | Hominidon            TDT 16   | Sparrow                 TMNT 33
Ape                 TMNT 29  | Honey Possum         MDU 17   | Spiny Anteater(Echidna) MDU 23
Argentadon          TDT 26   | Horse                TMNT 40  | Squirrel                TMNT 45
Armadillo           TMNT 30  | Human                TDT 11   | Stegosauroid            TDT 23
Armadillo Lizard    MoPB 7   | Hummingbird          RH 6     | Swallow                 MiA 18
Baboon              TMNT 30  | Hyaenodon            TDT 27   | Swan                    MiA 18
Badger              TMNT 30  | Hypsilophoid         TDT 22   | Tapir                   MotY 19
Bandicoot           MDU 14   | Iguana               MotY 14  | Tasmanian Devil         MDU 23
Bat                 TMNT 31  | Jaguarondi           MotY 11  | Thorny Devil (Moloch)   MDU 24
Bear                TMNT 31  | Kangaroo             MDU 17   | Thylodon                TDT 29
Beaver              TMNT 31  | Kangaroo Rat         RH 11    | Toucan                  MotY 20
Bee                 MiO 46   | Kinkajous            MotY 14  | Tree Kangaroo           MDU 24
Birds               TMNT 31  | Koala                MDU 18   | Tree Porcupine          MotY 21
Bluebottle Br. Fly  MiO 53   | Komodo Dragon        MDU 18   | Tree-Climbing Anteater  MotY 20
Boa Constrictor     MotY 17  | Kookaburra           MDU 14   | Triceratops             TDT 25
Boar                TMNT 34  | Lizard               RH 8     | True Seal               RH 13
Brontosauroid       TDT 20   | Magpie               MiA 14   | Turkey                  TMNT 32
Buffalo             TMNT 35  | Manatee              MotY 15  | Turtle                  TMNT 45
Bull                TMNT 37  | Margay               MotY 12  | Tyrannosoid             TDT 25
Bushmaster          MotY 18  | Marsupial Mole       MDU 19   | Vampire Bat             MotY 10
Buzzard             RH 6     | Marten               TMNT 40  | Vulture                 RH 7
Camel               TMNT 35  | Mastodon/Mammoth     TDT 27   | Wallace's Flying Frog   MoPB 7-8
Canines, Wild       TMNT 35  | Megatherion          TDT 28   | Wallaroo                MDU 25
Cassowary           MDU 13   | Mink                 TMNT 40  | Walrus                  RH 13
Cat, Domestic       TMNT 39  | Mole                 TMNT 40  | Water Opossum (Aust.)   MoPB 8
Cat, Wild           TMNT 39  | Monkey               TMNT 41  | Water Opossum (Mexican) MotY 21
Chameleon           RH 9     | Moose                TMNT 41  | Water-Vole              MiA 18
Cheetah             TMNT 38  | Mountain Lion        TMNT 38  | Weasel                  TMNT 45
Chicken             TMNT 34  | Mulgara              MDU 19   | Whale                   RH 13
Coati               RH 7     | Muskrat              TMNT 41  | Wild Bird               TMNT 32
Cockroach           MiO 49   | Mutant Beetle        MiO 47   | Wild Fowl               TMNT 33
Common Fly          MiO 52   | Native Cat/Tiger Cat MDU 19   | Wild Predatory Bird     TMNT 32
Common Mutant Ant   MiO 44   | Newt                 MiA 14   | Wolverine               TMNT 46
Condor              RH 6     | Numbat               MDU 20   | Wombat                  MDU 25
Coot                MiA 11   | Octopus              RH 9     | Woodpecker              MiA 19
Cow                 TMNT 37  | Opossum              TMNT 41  | 
Coypu               MiA 12   | Otter                TMNT 42  | 
Crocodile           TMNT 29  | Owl                  TMNT 32  | 
Crow                TMNT 33  | Paca (Agoutis)       MotY 16  | 
Cuscus              MDU 14   | Pachycephaloid       TDT 22   | 
Deer                TMNT 37  | Packrat              RH 11    | 
Diatrymon           TDT 26   | Paraceratherion      TDT 28   | 
Dingo               MDU 15   | Parrot               TMNT 34  | 
Disk-Winged Bat     MotY 8   | Peacock              MiA 15   | 
Dog                 TMNT 36  | Pet Bird             TMNT 33  | 
Dolphin             RH 8     | Pig                  TMNT 42  | 
Donkey              RH 8     | Pigeon               TMNT 34  | 
Dromaeosauroid      TDT 20   | Pika                 TT 31    | 
Duck                TMNT 31  | Platypus             MDU 20   | 
Duckoid             TDT 21   | Porcupine            TMNT 42  | 
Earwig              MiO 50   | Possum (Phalanger)   MDU 21   | 
Elephant            TMNT 37  | Prairie Dog          RH 12    | 
Elk                 TMNT 38  | Praying Mantis       MiO 54   | 
Emerald Tree Boa    MotY 17  | Pronghorn            RH 10    | 
Emu                 MDU 14   | Pterasoid            TDT 23   | 
False Vampire Bat   MotY 9   | Puffin               MiA 16   | 
Feline              TMNT 38  | Rabbit               TMNT 43  | 
Fer-de-Lance        MotY 18  | Raccoon              TMNT 43  | 
Fisherman Bat       MotY 10  | Rat Kangaroo/Bettong MDU 21   | 
Flamingo            MotY 12  | Rattlesnake          MotY 18  | 
Fox                 TMNT 35  | Rhinoceros           TMNT 43  | 
Frilled Lizard      MDU 16   | Ringtail             RH 11    | 
Frog                TMNT 39  | Roadrunner           RH 7     | 
Giant Anteater      MotY 13  | Rock Wallaby         MDU 22   | 
Giant Armadillo     MotY 13  | Rodent               TMNT 44  | 
Gila Monster        RH 9     | Saurinoid            TDT 24   | 
Glyptodon           TDT 26   | Sea Lion             RH 12    | 
Goanna              MDU 16   | Sea Turtle           RH 12    | 
Goat                TMNT 39  | Sheep                TMNT 44  | 
Goose               MiA 12   | Shire Horse          MiA 16   | 
Greater Glider      MDU 16   | Skunk                TMNT 44  | 
Gull                MiA 13   | Sloth                MotY 16  | 

Section 5: The Anime-Based Games: Robotech & Macross II

5.1. What is the Robotech RPG?

The Robotech RPG is a role-playing game based on the Harmony Gold animated television series, Robotech. Game supplements cover the Macross, Southern Cross, and Invid Invasion portions of the animated series, as well as the Sentinels. Characters can be human, Zentraedi, or a Sentinel race. Character classes include the Veritech and Destroid pilot. Campaign settings include Macross, Southern Cross, Invid Invasion, and the Sentinels.

5.2. What discrepancies are there between the RPG and the series?

The largest discrepancies are two-fold: Firstly, the RPG claims (in Invid Invasion) that the Invid returned some years after the Regis' departure, contradicting both letter and spirit of the last episode, providing an artificial reason not to end the role-playing campaign when the show ends. It is this liberty that has drawn the most fire from fans (though others have accommodated it into their campaigns).

Elsewhere, (in The Sentinels) Siembieda takes liberties with the number of ships that supposedly departed with the SDF-3 to Tyrol. According to all the known Sentinels reference material, the SDF-3 was supposed to be alone. However, Siembieda seems to be attempting to address problems in Macek's version of the Sentinels; one ship leaves, and hundreds (fully crewed) return. Likewise, he has the REF spend an indeterminate time sweeping the Galaxy clean of the Regent's Invid, where in the outlines for the Sentinels TV show, the REF was to have returned not long after the capture of the Invid's home-world.

One minor fault is that the Robotech Master's homeworld is Tyrol (also spelled "Tirol"), which orbits the giant planet Fantoma. The RPG somehow managed to swap the two names. The probable reason may be the reference to the Masters' homeworld in the Sentinels' video as "the moon of Fantoma" (which it is, because it orbits Fantoma), which was taken at Palladium to be like the reference to the planet Endor in "Return of the Jedi" as "The Moon of Endor", because of its small size.

Another thing that irks some fans of the original Southern Cross series, is that the Battloids were so different from their original designs. The GMP Battloid of the RPG was the TC Battloid in the anime, and all of the other Battloids (SC and EBSIS) were assigned to the wrong forces - some were not even Battloids at all, but power armor! However, in Robotech, we never see Battloids being used in any manner that would assign them to any given part of the SC, and most we do not see in action at all, and their brief appearances are easily missed. Assignation of some of these designs to the EBSIS (a Palladium invention, though a fairly logical one for its time of origin) served to give a purpose for these unused designs.

The biggest anime to RPG goofs are as follows:

RPG Version                      What it really was in the Japanese shows

Macross goofs:

Lancer One Space Fighter         The Oberth Class space destroyer, which is several hundred feet long!
                                   Multiply all M.D./M.D.C. numbers by 25 for a more accurate description.
                                   Crew is around 100, and ship is capable of interplanetary flights.
                                   Anti-UWG forces hijacked one of these, used it to destroy another
                                   that was being used to evacuate Mars Base (how Riber really died),
                                   which was in turn destroyed by Gloval in a third (his first space
                                   command). This happened around the time of the flashbacks we see of
                                   Claudia and Roy on Macross Island in "A Rainy Night" (ca. 2007-2008).
                                   The Miranda and Circe were POSSIBLY of this class, or of the one below.

Daedalus and Prometheus          Ships like them were shown in space in the first few episodes before
                                   the fold accident, and later when Dolza attacked. It is possible
                                   these ships had artificial gravity and contra-grav capability to
                                   allow them to reach orbit under their own power to help defend Earth,
                                   as well as ferry supplies to the Oberths, ARMDs, and the SDF-1,
                                   none of which were intended to ever land on Earth after launch.

The UF-14 fighter                Actually belonged to the forces OPPOSED TO the United World Government!
                                   We see Roy shooting them down in the flashbacks of "A Rainy Night".

Southern Cross goofs:
(Note: Items listed as Power Armor about the size of the Rifts Glitter Boy)

Specific Mecha:
G.M.P. Battloid                  Actually the Tactical Corps & R.E.P. Recon Battloid
T.C. Recon Battloid              Tactical Corps* Combat Battloid, with Officer-style head
C.D.U. Battloid (Heavy)          Actually the Tactical Corps* Combat Battloid, with NCO-style head
C.D.U. Battloid (Light)          Actually the Tactical Corps* Combat Battloid, with basic head
Cosmic Unit Battloid             Actually the C.W.O.S. Power Armor ("magnets" are snowshoes) 
E.B.S.I.S. Soldier Battloid      Actually the Sea Squad Power Armor
E.B.S.I.S. Juggernaut Battloid   Actually the Civil Defense Battloid
E.B.S.I.S. Recon Destroyer Bat.  Actually the Mountain Squad Power Armor
Merchant Republic Protector      Actually the Desert Squad Battloid
* In Southern Cross, all the ground forces (except the ATAC) were part of the TC, and used this Battloid
type to one extent or the other, if they did not have a design of their own. The only statistical
difference between the three types were their head units, and the resulting differences in sensors
and weaponry, with the actual M.D.C. remaining the same for all three (as the RPG's TC Recon).
And yes, this does mean the RPG was wrong about the R.E.P. not using Battloids, because they did use
both the recon and combat models.

The Veritech Hover Tank          Missing stats for cockpit cover (used in space), and the autocannon
                                   CAN be used in Battloid mode, but is much less accurate than using
                                   the EU-ll (the autocannon does not get mecha bonuses, only bonus
                                   for high P.P. only when used that way), so it is rarely done.
AJACS                            Not introduced as a standard mecha until 2029 AT THE EARLIEST.
                                   It was most likely on test flights when used in "Dana's Story"
                                   and the Robotech Movie (both of which used footage from after
                                   the AJACS' introduction in their creation, despite being set before
                                   the rest of the series).
TASC Veritechs in general        The Logan and AJACS were used by the Cosmic Unit as well as the
                                   TASC, and were probably available as additional training for characters
                                   from the T.A.F. and C.D.F.C. with the Pilot M.O.S.

Southern Cross Space craft       Most are missing, or described as shuttles, when really much bigger.

Robotech Masters Space Craft     Their escort craft are missing (the type seen in the episode where
                                   Bowie was captured at the mounds, and most fleet battles)

New Generation/Mospeada goofs:

Cyclones                         Note that the Cyclone was invented LONG after the SDF-3 left Earth,
                                   and was not part of the Sentinels fight initially. The RPG numbers
                                   are from the period when Edwards attempts to seize control of the REF.
                                 Two dubbing goofs (showing Lancer but with Scott's voice) resulted
                                   in the VR-052 types being given GR-103s in the RPG. However, it
                                   would not be unlikely for versions to exist having them, for ground
                                   use instead of as aircraft survival units. As the VR-041 was originally
                                   intended as the standard model Cyclone, the "alternate" VR-052 types
                                   (the RPG versions) could be VR-041 Cyclones with VR-052 arms.
Vindicator                       Actually is the manned version of the Shadow fighter, and is the same
                                   size as other Alphas.
VAF-7A Shadow Alpha              An A.I. drone version of the above, with no head and additional
                                   weapons (the GR-12s).
Other Alphas                     Had Jet Lasers (see closing credits), and the color was not by model,
                                   but by rank, green being the enlisted pilots and other colors
                                   reserved for aces and squad leaders. 
The Beta - The biggest mess in the entire RPG; so much that I have to break the format above to list all the errors.
  1. Had jet lasers (or possibly additional GU-XX mounts for Jet mode). Actually shown in use in one episode, volleyed with the body GU-XX. The "Leg Missile Launchers" are actually the maintenance hatches for the guns. Note also that all the GU-XX (including the Alpha version) were energy weapons in the original series, but that doesn't HAVE to be the case in Robotech.
  2. The "Medium Range Missiles" actually the sensor suite.
  3. The MM-40s are actually two separate launchers; the first are pop-up launchers as described in the RPG, while the front launchers (those that have flip-open lids in Battloid) are the real Medium range missile launchers, with 10 shots each.
  4. The "Long Range Missiles" are actually the ports where the Alpha and Beta link up, to allow the thrust of the Alpha to be diverted through the Beta to give it more thrust in Legios form.
  5. The "Bomb Bay", while usable as such, is also the real Long Range Missile launcher, with LRMs usable in place of bombs, in the same numbers as listed for bombs.
  6. The arms have 3-Barrel cannons that are at least as powerful as the GU-XX, and could be treated (per arm) as equivalent to the Body GU-XX, but with the capability of being volleyed together (As Rand does when he takes out the Royal Command Battloid in episode #83).

5.3. What is Macross II? Is it a sequel to Robotech?

The Macross II RPG is based on the Japanese OAV (direct to video) series "Macross II", which was based on the movie "Macross: Do You Remember Love?", which in turn was based on the Macross TV series, from which Robotech was derived. In other words, the scenarios are not related, though they use similar game mechanics and mecha (being both published by Palladium and written by Siembieda, and some of the designers in Japan were the same for both shows, this is not surprising).

There is an English-dubbed version of "Macross: DYRL", with an American (uncut) release name of "Superdimensional Fortress Macross". An older, butchered version is also out, called "Clash of the Bionoids". Strangely enough, the European and Australian release of the uncut dub has the name of the butchered version. Many anime fan-subbing groups have also done the movie.

Some people (such as the original FAQ's source) used "Macross: Summer '84" as the title of the movie, which is like calling Return of the Jedi "Star Wars: Summer '82". "Summer '84" was a working title and "coming soon" blurb that too-literal anime fans of the mid 1980s took to BE the official title. Also, while "Macross II" is for all intents and purposes a sequel of "Macross: DYRL", it is now denied by the Japanese to be such, and "Macross: DYRL" has been labeled a "Based on a True Story"-type "Docudrama" made in the Macross universe, two decades after the events of the series. Another interesting note is that, while "Macross II" has been effectively disowned by the Macross creators (as the primary Macross creator Shoji Kawamori had no part in its creation), its music has resurfaced in the Macross TV series' sequel series, "Macross 7", telling the story of Max & Miriya as leaders of a deep space colony ship in 2045-46, and that of their youngest (of seven) daughters.

A fan page with the mecha of Macross 7, DYRL and Macross Plus has been created by the former moderator of the Robotech Mailing list, Dave Deitrich. This page is at the following address...

Dave Deitrich's Macross Mecha Designs

5.4. Why hasn't there been any books for these RPGs recently?

First of all, Palladium decided not to renew the license for Macross II, as that universe not only was practically disowned by its creators, but all of its existing source material had been exploited.

As for Robotech, Harmony Gold is now working on a new project called Robotech 3000, with Netter Digital (a CGI company). This new planned Robotech series has brought all Robotech licensing to grind virtually to a halt, until more information is released concerning the new series in 2000. While minor items can be published by Palladium (Like my own ABP-Z4 REF Pod design published in The Rifter #5), no full-book-sized items are possible. In fact, Palladium has two manuscripts they WANT to publish (one centering on the space colonies founded after the SDF-3 departure), but are having to sit on, until the situation clears.

Section 6: Heroes Unlimited

6.1. What is Heroes Unlimited?

Heroes Unlimited is a traditional superhero game, complete with superpowers, larger than life heroes, and evil villains. It includes a wide selection of super abilities, and a number of other "Power Categories" such as Special Training, Magic, Aliens, and Bionics. Overall, it tends more towards the gritty "vigilante" feel than other, more "heroic" games.

6.2. What are the changes from First & Revised editions, to 2nd Edition?

First of all, the book has been expanded in a major, almost obscene way, having over 350 pages (and still costing only $24.95). There some minor changes, and some major ones. The minor changes include the tweaking of the character generation system (see section 2.5), the addition of all the Villains Unlimited & Aliens Unlimited powers to the main book, and a reworking of the skill program system to be more streamlined (including giving all characters language, math and automobile skills for free), yet more flexible.

Major changes include the conversion of the Magic system to the P.P.E. system used in the other games, many new powers, more powerful writeups of existing powers, and the Mega-Hero class of Hero, which emulates the more powerful types of heroes found in comics.

6.3. What is "The Justice Machine" supplement?

The Justice Machine supplement for the original version of Heroes Unlimited was based on the initial Justice Machine comics. As a HU-original edition supplement, this means that each character only had one power (god, how things have changed for the better). The Justice Machine was created by Michael Gustovich. It tells the story of a group of adventurers from a despotic, alternate Earth (called Georwell) who fled to Earth after realizing their government (whom they had served as heroes and enforcers) was totally corrupt. The original series (cut short at 5 issues) from Noble Comics provides a lot of the information and art for the book, and what was to have been the cover of issue #6 became the cover for the supplement. Characters (heroes and villains) from all the printed issues, as well as those from those who didn't get published are detailed as well.

Game Details: The characters are weak, being written up for the old one-power system. However, all the new powers introduced in this supplement (catalogue #501, ISBN #0916211-10-X) were revamped and published in Villains Unlimited, which inherited the Catalogue number from its predecessor. Also, later comics at one or more other companies were finally produced for the Justice Machine, and I have no idea what changes occurred from the point where the description in the RPG book ends.

Section 7: Ninjas and Superspies

7.1. What is Ninjas and Superspies?

Ninjas & Superspies is sort of a combination of the Jackie Chan and James Bond genres. It's a martial arts/espionage game of intrigue and deception. Characters include the "Dedicated" Martial Artist, who has spent his entire life in a monastery perfecting his art and the Espionage Agent, the quintessential spy, among many others.

7.2. What changes were made to the revised edition?

Lots. In fact, too many to list here. The number of Martial Arts available to characters was lowered (the Dedicated Martial artist originally had 3 forms, the Worldly M.A. 2, instead of the current 2 & 1 respectively). All the O.C.C.s were altered (some radically), and several more were added in the revised version. Many Martial Arts Powers went from set bonuses, durations, or chance of success to ones scaled with improvement by level, or randomized, or otherwise had their bonuses changed. And every martial art underwent some depowering. Frankly, the original version of this RPG was so overpowered, that it looked more like it was written by CJ Carella, instead of the author of the Amber Diceless RPG.

7.3. Where is the Mystic China Sourcebook?

After a delay of several years, the Mystic China supplement was finally released in early 1995. However, the promised sourcebook for Mystic China was cancelled, due to lack of time for Erick Wujcik to work on it (it was believed that it would be better to cancel it completely, than have a possible repeat of the 5-year "it will be out soon" snafu of the original Mystic China book). Of course, Having not really written anything for anyone in the last 4 years (just having too much fun running and selling his own, older stuff at cons), Palladium's having difficulty convincing Erick to start writing again.

Section 8: Beyond The Supernatural

8.1. What is Beyond The Supernatural?

Beyond the Supernatural (BtS) is a modern horror-type game, the predecessor to Rifts. Character classes range from the mage, to several varieties of psychic, to parapsychologist, to the nega-psychic, a character whose disbelief in magic and psychic powers negates said powers in his presence. One of the game's most fascinating concepts is the system of geomantic ley lines of mystic energy which criss-cross the earth.

8.2. Whatever happened to the Nostromo: Agents of Darkness and Darklings supplements?

The person who proposed these supplements left Palladium before they could be finished.

8.3. I've got some questions about the first printing? Some things are confusing or missing.

The following is the Beyond the Supernatural Errata from The Magic of Palladium Books #1

Beyond the Supernatural has been selling great and will be going into its second printing soon. Unfortunately, a number of errors slipped themselves into the first printing. Damn Gremlins!!! Here are the corrections:

PAGE 9: Physical Prowess (P.S.) should be Physical Prowess (P.P.)

PAGE 31: Metallurgy and Parapsychology are listed as available science skills, but there is no description. This is because I deleted them from the skills, but they were accidentally left on the skill list. There are no metallurgy or parapsychology skills for the typical character. Parapsychology is a special P.C.C. skill available only to the parapsychologist character class.

PAGE 45: A question about hand to hand combat. "Do characters get two attacks per melee automatically plus two attacks from Hand to Hand combat skills?" Well it depends. Randy and I saw the BTS characters as being more vulnerable, normalish, people. That means they would have two attacks per melee only if they took a hand to hand skill and ONE attack per melee if they had no combat training. Additional attacks per melee come with greater hand to hand skill experience.

However, if you want a more combat oriented game, or if you are combining BTS with Heroes Unlimited or Ninjas & Superspies, you should probably start the characters off with two attacks plus the two attacks gained from any hand to hand skills (total of 4 attacks at first level). This will make them more compatible with superhero types.

PAGE 60: The Nega-Psychic clarification: Range of disruptive nega-psychic energy is 10 ft (3m). The nega-force lasts as long as the nega-psychic is within the 10 ft range. The nega- psychic can NOT turn off his negative energy. Affects only group magic, Icy line powered magic, and group psychic powers (seance) by disrupting the flow of P.P.E.

PAGE 63: Special Equipment: These are items available only to the Parapsychologist, although a few similar items are available in the general equipment list.

PAGE 94: Drawing P.P.E. From Others! This is a major error. First, NO P.P.E. can be drawn from an unwilling subject. Only 2D6 P.P.E. can be drained from an unaware person (a person not aware that his P.P.E. is being syphoned off). Willing subjects can give up to 70% of their P.P.E. as stated and blood sacrifice is always two times (double) the victim's full P.P.E. at the moment of death. Second, drawing P.P.E. from animals: Animals are always considered to be unwilling victims. That means P.P.E. can only be gotten through a blood sacrifice of that animal.

PAGE 99: The number of spells known at levels 1-3 is 1D6. The example of 2D4 is wrong! Sorry.

NOTE: Magic can not be cast from the astral plane into the physical world. Thus, an astral traveler can not appear in a room and hurl a lightning bolt at some helpless human victim in our physical plane of existence. However, an astral traveler can cast magic on other beings in the astral plane while he is in astral form.

Section 9: Rifts

9.1. What is Rifts?

Rifts is practically a game which defies explanation. Is it cyberpunk? Is it post-apocalyptic? Is it a mecha game? What *IS* it? As I'm at a loss to describe it, I'll cop out and fall back to Kevin's own words....

"Rifts are tears in the fabric of space and time. They are found at the nexus points where several "lines" of natural energy (that mankind calls magic) intersect and create a surge in the lines of power. It is a terrifying and exciting extrapolation of the concepts of magic and ley lines as presented in the Beyond the Supernatural role-playing game. The science of geomancy had vanished centuries before. Only myths and crackpot practitioners of magic had any inkling about ley lines and mystic energy. Consequently, no one could have anticipated the fate that awaited mankind.

Nuclear holocaust ignited the destruction of the world as we know it, but it was not the primary instrument of destruction. The sudden destruction of a billion people triggered a surge in the ley lines. ... The sudden influx of psychic energy (P.P.E.) sent the energy rippling through the mystical crossroads of the earth like an earthquake. ... At ley line intersections (nexus points), rifts in space and time tore open, releasing even more energy. The earth shuddered and heaved. Millions more died, increasing the energy level of the rifts.


From the rifts spewed forth energy that tore through man's citadels of steel and concrete like a tornado through a city built out of match sticks. For every million or billion lives lost, the ley lines surged and destroyed billions more; a nightmare of geometric proportions.

The ley lines and the rifts that they spawned were not some insidious evil, nor a plot of some malignant intelligence from another world. It was an aspect of nature that science did not even know, let alone understand. Like a child playing with matches in a pool of gasoline, humankind dropped a match into the pool and was instantly engulfed. Once the match was lit and dropped, there was nothing that could be done to undo what had been done. Yet in a strange way, all this death was part of the birth of a new age. And through it all, humankind would persevere. Even the cosmic fury of a world gone mad could not completely eradicate all human life. However, it would take mankind hundreds of years to crawl out of the abyss that swallowed him. It is at this moment, as humankind finally craws back into the light of a new dawn that our story unfolds.

Rifts is a role-playing game that explores the earth created by the rifts. An earth that has been irreparably changed and is still changing. An earth more alien than any world one might find in another galaxy. A world where man must not only conquer himself and the environment, but a place where the environment is ever changing and the life forms one must compete against are not human."

[Taken from Rifts by Kevin Siembieda, p.7. Used without permission.]

9.2. Is Beyond the Supernatural REALLY the past of Rifts Earth?

Yes and no... Initially, it was stated to be so, citing the "time travel" of Victor Lazlo. However, Palladium now says that the BtS Earth is just a very close parallel dimension to Rifts, not the Rifts universe. However, this leads to problems in other areas (such as his friend, the Chiang Ku dragon, who survived from Lazlo's disappearance through the coming of the Rifts, without changing worlds). The two universes SHOULD still be treated as one and the same, unless you wish to incorporate elements that would be foreign to a BtS world into your Rifts game, such as a past with super beings BEFORE the rifts. The following theory, however, could explain BtS being both the past AND not the past of Rifts Earth, at the same time (no, I'm not losing my mind - just read it).

Theory: E Uno Pluribum; E Pluribus Unum.

In the beginning, there was but one Earth in the megaversal location where Rifts Earth now sits. This Earth existed, evolved, and reached a high level of development in the use of both magic and technology. This was Rifts Earth, at the time of the Atlantean disaster.

When the dimensional rift experiment went awry, the local area of space-time was shattered. In addition to all the visible dimensional anomalies that occurred, more happened that was lost in the chaos. The once unique universe split into multiple, parallel dimensions - unknown in number. Instead of being a true, parallel split, the dimensional energy surges spread from their ultimate nexus (Earth) backward through time, trying to create a past for the fragments. In the process, each fragment's history was slightly altered from the original.

In one of these sub-universes, magic faded more slowly than the others; this was the universe of Beyond the Supernatural.

In another, the energies subtly altered the laws of reality in it as they spread, giving many races the potential for super powers, and resulting in the birth of several alien star empires, including the Atorian Empire. This was the universe of Heroes Unlimited.

A third universe, not a fragment, but one of the parallels being explored before the catastrophe, was colonized by a clan of fleeing Atlanteans, who abandoned all magic in the pursuit of technology. This pursuit led to their downfall, as their cyborg creations turned on them after a horrible misunderstanding. This was the universe of the Mechanoids.

Many other sub-universes existed - all varying degrees of closeness & difference from the original, not counting the myriad Atlantean and Nazcan colonies throughout the dimensions that existed before the split. One of these - or even one of the three above - could be the home universe of the Recon game, or even Valley of the Pharaohs. Most likely, however, the Phase World, Nightbane and Palladium Fantasy universes were already separate entities.

As for TMNT & After the Bomb, well... It is possible that the universe was a fragment that went its own way, due to the similarities between After the Bomb and Rifts. In fact, the permanence of the separation may have been the result of the diligent work of the Time Lords of that dimension. Or, it could be a case of true parallelism.

In the 1980s, several different versions of a researcher named Victor Lazlo camped out at Serpent Mound, in Ohio. A freak cross-dimensional occurrence - actually a backwash of dimensional energy from the future - plucked all of him, and merged them into one person, who was deposited onto Rifts Earth, none the wiser.

In 2098, on several Earths, experiments progressed in dimension manipulation with technology. When these coincided with a major P.P.E. rush from a minor nuclear exchange half a world away, and the energies of a winter solstice, the collapse occurred.

In a matter of seconds, the majority of the dimensions created by the split, 12,000 years before, were collapsed back together. The Coming of the Rifts was not a reawakening of magic, as many believe; instead, it was the inevitable, forced rejoining of the universal fragments, causing total disruption of the planet Earth (the nexus of the original disturbance). In space, as one got farther from Earth, less notice was taken - unless one was in a system that had different sentient races in alternate dimensions. In fact, the further away one got from Earth, the less the change was noticed, as the perceptions of the majority (99.999%) of the residents thought the "new" status quo was how things had ALWAYS been, with the 1 in 100,000 exceptions being dismissed as crackpots ("But, I tell you - Yesterday, we weren't servants of the Atorians! I never heard of them until this morning, when I woke up a slave on my own home planet, that everyone says has been occupied for a thousand years!")

Initially, the reformed Rifts Earth was a patchwork of the ruined fragments of the individual Earths that it consisted of. D-shifting occurred often, where fragments of one Earth replaced another. However, slowly, instead of shifting, the actual EXISTENCE of these fragments began to coalesce together, producing a gestalt that, to the inhabitants, had always been that way. It would be almost 300 years later that Victor Lazlo is returned to Earth, not realizing that he was as much a gestalt as the world he mistook for the BtS one (which was part of it).

By 100 P.A., any hints that the Rifts Earth universe had ever been fragmented into multiple dimensions, had been totally obscured by the gestalt effect. The only persons who could possibly notice anything would be the Japanese, who sat out the chaos mercifully displaced as their multiple counterparts were crushed by tsunamis in the merger as the various alternate Japans collided. When they returned, the world was so different, that it would be near impossible for them to find any clue to the past, without traveling to the West. And, they are not interested as yet in such endeavors. Even Archie Three and the Angel of Death underwent gestalt mergers without realizing it. In fact, it may have been the merger of various, highly different Archie Threes, that led to his sentience.

As for the True Atlanteans, almost all of their colonies had been in universes that predated the original accident, and all that they really see is that their home world has had its physical existence restored - and not knowing of the split, would not realize that a merger had occurred.

Out of one universe, came many. Twelve millennia later, many came together, to form one. In the process, some fragments were lost, and unrelated universes got dragged in, to try to fill the voids of the missing ones.

As a result, attempts to time travel to the multi-universe period could put the travelers into one random constituent of the Rifts Earth past, or spread them out among many. The "alternate selves" conjured by some temporal magic in Rifts might instead be actual splitting off one of the mage's gestalt selves, from their merged existence, while the same spell in the multi-dimensional period would pull one of those duplicates from its world in the split.

The fate of Rifts Earth is a mystery. Will the fragments continue to coalesce? Or, will they fragment once more? Only time will tell.

9.3. Where are the stats for Victor Lazlo in Rifts World Book Four: Africa?

The first printing of "Rifts World Book 4: Africa" has a printing error in which several sections of text, including the stats for Victor Lazlo, are missing. The stats for Victor Lazlo are reprinted in "Rifts Sourcebook Three: Mindwerks", as well as in later printings of Africa. In fact, if you have one of these first printing copies, use it as an excuse to by the latest printing, with the new cover art.....

The other sections clipped are the XP tables for the various classes and part of the description of the Tree People R.C.C. They can be found at the following link...

Palladium OOPS! Page.

9.4. What are Universal Credits exactly?

This Question was finally answered in New West. However, it was also listed on the Palladium web page, at the link above.

9.5. What are the prices for vibro-blades and the neural mace?

These have been included in later printings of the Rifts book.

Vibro-knife      7000
Vibro-sabre      9000
Vibro-sword     11000
Vibro-claws     11000
Neural mace      8000

9.6. How much does railgun ammo cost?

[This system was created entirely by Stan Bundy.]

The rule of thumb I've always used with Rail Gun ammo is to base the cost on the max damage it does, modified by a supply and demand fudge factor.

Base cost would be 1 CR per 1 M.D. of damage for a Burst (Single shot for those RGs like the Boom gun and Shemmarian that fire a canister round or single slug).

Examples -

A Rail Gun does 6D6 MD for a 40 round burst: Cost of ammo is 36 CR per 40 rounds, or 90 CR per 100 rounds.

A Rail Gun does 1D4x10 MD for a 50 round burst: Cost is 40 CR for 50 rounds, or 80 CR per 100 rounds.

The Glitter Boy Boom Gun: 3D6x10 MD per shot: 180 CR per round.


9.7. What about rules for bartering?

These rules were developed for the ammo price system above, but can be used for any trade, not just ammo. Bartering: Figure price per unit, and for entire trade (both sides).

  1. Take the two persons involved in the barter's MA attributes; subtract the lower from the higher. This is the bonus for the Higher MA's roll.
  2. Factor in a modifier in the +10 to -10 range into the "purchaser's" roll for the likelihood that the "seller" will have a use or buyer for the item being traded for the desired substance. (+5 for precious metals, -10 for obscure pre-rifts artifacts with no military use, 0 for typical military item trades, etc. The GM decides the actual modifier - these are just examples).
  3. For actually role-playing the barter session, the GM can add in whatever modifier he sees fit, based on how well/poorly the role-playing of the situation goes. Previous encounters between the two parties (good and bad; especially the latter) also fall under this category.
  4. Both sides Roll 1D20, factoring in modifiers. The person with the higher roll gets the better deal, getting +2% per point of difference in terms of cost.

Examples: "Buyer" wins by 8 = gets 16% more of stuff wanted for original offered item, or gets to keep 16% of item offered.

Yes, I know that the percents don't really balance, but it is the GM, not the players, who decides which side of the bargain is affected.

9.8. What books are good?/What books are vital to a Rifts game?

Everyone has differing opinions on these. What is vital and interesting to one, is hackneyed and boring to another. So, I'm going to concentrate on what items really are necessary for a game. The Core books are musts for any setting.

Core Books:
Main Book
Conversion Book One
Game Shields
Rifts Index & Adventure Books #1 & 2 are helpful, but not vital. On the other hand, you could probably
run adventures for years, using the adventure material in these books.

For a North American Campaign (Coalition-Centered):

Initially -
Source Book 1
World Book 1
World Book 2
Source Book 2

After the game gets underway -
World Book 10
World Book 11
World Book 12
World Book 13
Source Book 4
World Book 16
(World Books 20-23 when released)

Optional -
World Book 7
World Book 14
World Book 15

European Setting Games (NGR-Centered):

Initially -
World Book 2
World Book 3
World Book 4
World Book 5
Source Book 3
The Rifter #1 (for The New Roman Republic)

After the game gets underway -
World Book 17
World Book 18
(World Book 21 when released)

Optional -
World Book 7
World Book 12 (for the psi powers)
World Book 16 (for the magic)
Mutants in Orbit

South American Setting Games:

Initially -
World Book 1
World Book 2
World Book 6
World Book 9

After the game gets underway -
World Book 7
(World Book 21 when released)

Optional -
Mutants in Orbit
World Book 12 (for the psi powers)
World Book 16 (for the magic)

Pacific Setting Games:

Initially -
World Book 2
World Book 7
World Book 8
World Book 9

After the game gets underway -
Source Book 4
World Book 5
World Book 6

Optional -
World Book 14
(World Books 20-21 when released)

Stand-alone settings:

Dimension Book 1: Wormwood (can tie in to Europe/Africa easily)

Dimension Books 2-3: Phase World

Scraypers (minor ties to Phase World)

Rifts: Manhunter

Mutants in Orbit (minor ties to most settings)

Section 10: Nightbane

10.1. What is Nightbane?

Nightbane centers around the secret invasion of Earth by a race known as the Nightlords, from their own dimension. The Nightbane are a race of people who live among humans and can appear to be humans (the facade form ) or they can take on their true form (the morphus form). The morphus form is a twisted shape which can include the shapes of animals, of machines, with spikes and razors, tentacles, wings and almost anything which could be combined to create a horrible, monstrous being. The players can play, as characters, Nightbane, humans, vampire and other beings to combat the Nightlords in their takeover attempt of Earth.

10.2. Wasn't Nightbane originally called Nightspawn? What happened?

Nightbane was originally called Nightspawn until Todd MacFarlane stepped in and said that the name Nightspawn was to close to his character "Spawn" and he claimed infringements on his copyrights of the name "Spawn." Instead of getting into another lengthy court battle over this, Palladium Books agreed to rename the books, and future supplements, Nightbane as long as they were allowed to finish selling those books which were already printed (and sent to distributors) with the name Nightspawn and not have to recall any of those books sold. Personally, I'm waiting for McFarlane to sue Washington state for allowing its salmon population to "Spawn".

Section 11: The Mechanoids

11.1. What is The Mechanoids?

The Mechanoids is the name of the main race in a number of supplements and gaming books which have been published by Palladium Books. The Mechanoids are a race of psionic, psychopathic cyborgs with a pathological hatred of humanoids (humans in particular).

Long ago, a race of humans (rumored to be True Atlanteans) began to experiment with space travel. Realizing their bodies were too frail to withstand the pressures in space, the humans decided to augment a number of their own with cybernetics to be part of the space program. This developed into a robot which was augmented with human parts, but was programmed to obey the humans and do whatever they said as long as it never hurt the humans under any circumstances or any orders given.

Soon, though, the humans began to fear the robots. They feared that they would rise up and begin hurting them. In a consensus vote, the humans decided to send the robots into deep space to explore and to never return. The humans could not bring themselves to destroy the robots because they were part human and were seen as their "children" by many.

The robots, which were known as Mechanoids, did not realize their masters feared them and believed this was a chance to prove themselves and please their masters. The Mechanoids went out into space studying, exploring and learning and in one hundred years they had advanced what would take the humans over one thousand years to reach. This also caused the Mechanoids to change in appearance, for they used their knowledge to improve upon themselves. Then, they returned home.

The descendants of those who had created the Mechanoids had forgotten about them, for they never believed they would return. So when the Mechanoids returned, the humans did not recognize them and believed they were under attack, so they launched an attack against the Mechanoids. This took the Mechanoids completely by surprise. They had returned home with vast amounts of knowledge to give to their masters and their masters had attacked them. The Mechanoids, though vastly advanced in knowledge, had the sentimentally of a child toward their masters, and like a child reaction to punished for doing what they were told, the Mechanoids lashed out and fought back.

The Mechanoids, though, were far more powerful than the humans and they quickly killed off the entire human population on the planet. After doing this, after realizing they had killed their own creators, the Mechanoids went crazy from grief and came to the conclusion that all humans were evil and must be destroyed and all humanoid races must be enslaved so that they could not cause harm ever again to the Mechanoids. The Mechanoids then went on to increase their numbers into the billions and began a conquest of their universe.

11.2. When is the Mechanoids RPG going to be reprinted?

The Collected Mechanoids RPG was just printed, primarily for the 1998 Christmas Special, but with limited numbers to be made available for retail sale, in January (total print run, ca. 2000). Except for the addition of SDC stats for the O.C.C.s (not to mention typo correction in the process of reformatting the books, hich were originally just copies of typewritten pages), the product is identical in content to the original three books.

As for the Mechanoids Space RPG, which uses the M.D.C. damage system and brings the RPG up to speed with the rest of Palladium, the latest "official" release date is sometime in late 1999. This project, like the Revised Recon, is on the back burner to do more Rifts and Palladium Fantasy projects, though Recon has its own curse to bear.

11.3. What were the Mechanoids comics?

In 1991, a small, independent comics company called Caliber Press released a licensed comic book based on the Mechanoids RPG by Palladium Books. Each issue cost $3.50 US and each 48-page issue contained a RPG supplement updating the "Homeworld" section of the Mechanoids RPG (Book Three) for the Mega-Damageô system. The comic was originally scheduled for five issues, but Caliber fell drastically behind schedule and issues #4 and #5 were never released. A brief description of the "supplement" section of each comic follows:

Issue #1: Introduction, a FAQ section about the myths about what RPGs are, the history of the RPG, Glossary, character creation, Alignments (stolen directly from Robotech; the Robotech character names used as alignment examples were left in :), Experience, Setting (1‡ pages covering the time between the original RPG and the Comics), 5‡ pages of O.C.C.s (5 total, one with an error).

Issue #2: Skill list (the editors of the comics lost the page with Military & Medical skills, plus part of the Mechanical list, but otherwise complete), 3 more O.C.C.s (and correction of #1's error), Hand to Hand combat / S.D.C. section.

Issue #3: Player Character race Descriptions (including a robotic race and a former Mechanoid slave race that can warp space and is effectively a low-power Master psionic as well), new M.D.C. weapons, body armor and a set of power armor (closer to the current exoskeleton stuff from Rifts) for one race.

All told, there were about 60 pages of game information in the three comics. The story itself took up where Homeworld left off, with the Mechanoid threat returning after a 200 year absence, and the discovery of both the Gideon E survivors on the Mothership, and the genetic connection of the Mechanoids to humanity. More would have been explained in the next issue, but it never came.

Section 12: Recon

12.1. What is Recon?

Recon is a modern-warfare miniature game. Revised Recon is a modern combat game that uses a system simpler than Palladium's regular system. Characters are easier and faster to make, as well as easier to kill.

12.2. When is Recon going to be reprinted?

This spring saw the release of a Deluxe Revised Recon book, combining the Revised Recon and Advanced Recon game books. As for a new edition, see 11.2. above. According to Maryann, the Recon project has had one of the most bizarre reasons for being delayed. The REAL reason for the delay in Recon is that the first five writers, despite swearing that they were going to make it a generic game, and despite some of the writers not even being AMERICAN, all kept drifting back toward centralizing the game in its original setting; that of the Vietnam War. Even she can't explain it. The latest writer disappeared for most of the last two years, leading to the re-release of the Erick Wujcik & Joe Martin version in a format similar to the special edition Mechanoids Trilogy, to tide people over. It was only recently discovered that the 6th writer's absence was caused by his joining the Canadian armed forces, and that he is still interested in writing the new version.

Section 13: The 'Net

13.1. What Mailing lists are there for the Palladium RPGs?

Odds are, if you're reading this, you know of the Palladium Mailing List at ground-zero,mit,edu (or its soon to disappear predecessor at However, if you stumbled on this FAQ through web browsing, and would like to know more, follow the link below to the list's home page.

Palladium Mailing List Home Page.

This list is dedicated to Palladium Books games in general, with Rifts being the dominant subject game, with half the remaining traffic generally centered on one RPG over the rest (in the past, this has been Nightbane or Robotech, but HU and even Ninja & Superspies have dominated list traffic for several weeks at a time). At least one Palladium employee (Wayne Smith, editor of the Rifter) is on the list, but on an unofficial capacity.


There is also a list specifically dedicated to the Palladium Fantasy RPG. To subscribe to the Palladium Fantasy list, send a message from the address you wish to receive list messages to:

Palladium Fantasy Mailing List list server.

With the text: "subscribe palladium-frp [Your Name]" in the text body. [Your Name] is optional. There is a detailed help page on the WWW at

Palladium Fantasy Mailing List Home Page.


There are several Onelist Palladium lists. One of them can be found at

Palladium Onelist subscription page.

At least a dozen others can be found by searching the Onelist site. Other than the one above, I have no idea how many of these are still active.


Finally, there is the Robotech Cantina. One of two active Robotech MLs on the web, it is the more friendly (in general and toward gamers). The other list is ran by a bunch of RPG bashers, one of which ironically used to be in charge of the first incarnation of the PFRPG list.

The Cantina web page is located at:

Robotech Cantina Home page.

Excerpts from Robotech Cantina FAQ and Introduction V. 3.52

Written by: Michael White (, ) Last Updated August 13, 1996.

What about the novels, comics, RPG, etc.

Domo shrugs. "Sure, whatever's your thing. Just keep this in mind: the show is pretty much considered central to this whole place, and there are a lot of differences between it and the novels, RPG, comics and whatnot. Not everyone enjoys them all.

What about PBEM RPG games?

"Ah, a gamer," Domo says, smiling. "Yes, Play By EMail RPG games *are* allowed here. We're a pretty small place, though, so we can only host two, maybe three games at any one time.We only have three tables large enough to accomodate them in any case.

"If you want to start a PBEM game as a GM, email one of the managers. You'd do well to get players beforehand, but it's not necessary. If the mail load proves too much, though, the managers may ask the GM of the third game to take it to private mail, perhaps to be re-invited to the list if the mail load drops. Also, the managers may ask you to take a game to private mail if it stretches on too long and there's a demand for the table.

"If you want to join in a PBEM game as a *player*, email the GM of the game you want to join. The GM is second only to the managers in authority over the game. The managers reserve the right to limit the number of players a game can have, though, in an effort to limit the mail load.

"Finally, remember that *all* messages related to the game *must* contain the tag [PBEM] in the header. Not everyone wants to read these games, and the tags allow them to delete the messages without reading them."

13.2. What archive sites are there for Palladium RPGs?

There has not been an actively kept site (to my knowledge) in quite some time. The last site that tried to archive everything was Thunderstrike, which is now defunct. However, starting about a year or so ago, the Palladium Mailing List has had a list archive, so anything posted to it since should be there, in its posted form, but may be hard to find without good enough search parameters. Of course, the listing of links on the Palladium Books web page will take you to a lot of active and dormant sites. Most people who post stuff to the Palladium lists have their own web pages to archive their stuff personally.

There's a Palladium Web Ring, as well as the Robotech Page and Disciples of Zor (Robotech) Web Rings, and possibly more. Check my home page for links to these three, however.

13.3. What newsgroups are there for Palladium RPGs?

Currently, there are no newsgroups devoted exclusively to Palladium games. But they are on-topic in The Robotech RPG is also occasionally discussed in the newsgroup. Robotech, Macross II and (to a lesser extent) Rifts are also on topic in, but only in dealing with the mecha/RPA elements of those games (designs, variants, histories, etc.). One of the former moderators there even wrote a decent amount of Robotech material (Chris Meadows), though he's moved on to concentrate on other games. However, less than 1% of the traffic there is currently Palladium related, and 90% of it Battletech-related (the rest being Heavy Gear & Mekton).

Palladium recently expanded its web page, and installed several bulletin boards (similar to news groups) for their games, as well as a board for buying and selling used games. They have also opened multiple chats on the page - some for discussion and conversation, others reserved for online gaming. Every month, Palladium Representatives host an informational chat on their web chat on the next to last Monday of the month, generally at 7 PM Eastern Time. On the next to last Tuesday, they have a similar chat on the America Online Online Gaming Forum, from 9 PM to 10 PM.

The Robotech Page I a great resource for Robotech fans, and its Message Board (which it shares with another club, the Disciples of Zor) occasionally has RPG-related material, and is a gathering place for Robotech fans that receives a LOT of traffic. The Robotech Message Board

WebRPG also has "Town Hall" bulletin boards for each of the Palladium games, as well as most other publishers' products. They also have a lot of other fun and informative features, including Online gaming forums.


13.4. Does Kevin Siembieda/Palladium have an email address?

After the Wizards of the Coast flamewar, Kevin Siembieda officially dropped out of net-life. His wife, Maryann, maintains an account on the Palladium server and occasionally posts to the mailing list. However, the best way to get a response is through the Palladium web page's feedback system.

Send Mail to Maryann.

13.5. Does Palladium have a place to ask about rules questions?

Palladium now has what they call their Fan FAQ (no relation to this one). When questions are submitted concerning rules interpretations, etc., they will be answered, and put onto the page there. It is updated about once a month.

Section 14: Miscellaneous

14.1. Recommended Reading/Viewing/Listening:

Books (for Palladium FRP):
     The Coldfire Trilogy, by C.S. Friedman
     The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
     The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien
[Everyone should read Tolkien before FRP gaming. It's almost required

Movies, TV series, etc.:
   Mad Max Trilogy (Mad Max, The Road Warrior, Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome)
   Split Second
   Heavy Metal
   Terminator 2: Judgement Day
   Superdimension Century Orguss (The original series, not Orguss 02).
Palladium Fantasy:
   Hearts & Armor
   Record of Lodoss War (Japanese Animation, 6-tape series)
   The TMNT movies, especially the first (The animated TV series sucks)
After the Bomb:
   Rock & Rule (Animated movie by Nelvana - hard to find, but great music)
   Robotech TV show (available on tape; 85 episodes, and the Sentinels tape)
Macross II:
   Macross II 3-tape series, or movie compilation
Beyond the Supernatural:
   The Hidden
   The Ghost and the Darkness
   Twilight Zone: The Movie
Ninjas & Superspies:
   Big Trouble in Little China
   You only Live Twice (or any other Bond movies)
   Any movie starring Jackie Chan or Bruce Lee
   Golgo 13 (Japanese animation - not a commercial release in US)
   Beverly Hills Cop
   Lethal Weapon movies
   The Guyver (Japanese Animation, and U.S. Live-action movies)
   Edward Sissorhands
Heroes Unlimited/HU2:
  Superman and its sequels
  Batman and its sequels
  Any other superhero movies (and the sequels that they probably spawned)
  The Wild Cards series (multiple authors)
  Stan Lee's Riftworld series
  Any of the 1990s Marvel animated series
  Batman/Superman The Animated Series
  Lois and Clark
  The Tick
  The old 1960s Adam West Batman Series

Music (by RPG):
   Heavy Metal Soundtrack (songs for every occasion)
   Bubblegum Crisis (anime) BGMs and/or Vocal Collections
   Megazone 23 II BGM, Megazone 23 Vocal Collection (anime)
   Hardware Soundtrack
Robotech & Macross II
   (in the air) : Top Gun Soundtrack
   (ground) : Macross, Macross II, Macross Plus and Macross 7 music
Ninjas & Superspies:
   Any Bond movie soundtrack
   Beverly Hills Cop soundtracks
BtS, Nightbane:
   Dracula Soundtrack
   The Lost Boys Soundtrack 
All RPGs: Classic Queen, or Queen - A Kind of Magic

[Any more ideas?]

14.2. About the Author.

Stanley S. Bundy (AKA "Hey You!", "Ted Jr.", and "Don Quixote of Robotech") is a two-bit philosopher, computer science/teaching student and peripheral visionary ("I can see the future, but only way off to the sides" - Steven Wright). His interests include collecting anime, comics that nobody else reads, arguing with walls (or people whose minds do reasonable imitations thereof), gaming (of course), and wondering why my computer (and every other computer I use) does bad things that the lab consultants claim are impossible (such as WordPerfect's "SELECT that will not die!!!!). Current projects include a personal (for now) 2nd Edition of the Robotech RPG, trying to get back into college, and typing in my fanfic.