Scholar's Review #10: RIFTS Sourcebook 3: Mindwerks
Updated: May 11, 2020
Author: K. Siembieda
Release Date: 1994
The third in a series of Sourcebooks, at this point we have had six Worldbooks, a couple of Conversion Books and a Dimension Book. In this release, we have what was essentially an ode to the Mind-Over-Matter (M.O.M.) conversion that produces the weird and wacky player characters, the Crazies. Diving deeper into the source of this bizarre process and the inner working of the company at the forefront of its development in the pre-Rifts era, SB3: Mindwerks is essentially an expansion to World Book 5: Triax and the NGR, and develops the greater European setting with some really interesting additions.
Mindwerks. Presents a detailed history into the development and corporate influence over the M.O.M. technology, including a perspective into the German and Polish region during the massive upheavals that launched into the Rifts phenomenon. The legends of the Angels of Death and Angel of Vengeance and their NPC stats, and what is occurring in the Mindwerks facility today. In all honesty, I was really happy with this. It presented a corporate survival story into the Rifts setting without getting bogged down in local folklore or cultural norms, given the absolutely over-run setting with demons and monsters.
M.O.M. Technology. A slew of Mindwerks specific implants for Crazies, and the robots and gear they use to defend themselves. Includes six optional Mindwerks M.O.M. OCCs.
D-Bees of Germany and Poland. Five more RCCs and a repeat introduction into the Simvan, as well as four monsters and the C’ro Demon Mage villain NPC, as well as the Gene-Splicers.
The Black Forest. A land possessed by Fairie Folk and monsters, supported by the Tree of Darkness, an evil Millennium Tree. A neat addition and twist to the benevolent Millennium Trees first presented in WB3: England.
Regional Highlights. A more detailed background of the German region and repeat of Victor Lazlo. The Gargoyles open a new offensive and get the G-40 Super Bot, countered by the NGR Mobile Infantry Strike Base (with a beautiful two page spread diagram).
Kingdom of Tarnow. A human kingdom in the heart of Brodkil territory, by the grace of the Tarnow Crystal. The King and war machine of Tarnow on display, as well as their battle against the Brodkil. I thought this was a bit of a Marty Stu section, but appreciated what was presented.
Upon Release (8/10). The very beginning of the book describes this as a collection of items that didn’t quite make it in that publication. When I read this the first time, I thought immediately on how well this fleshed out the European conflict zones and gave some fantastic adventure ideas. I wasn’t a fan of M.O.M. technology or Crazies per se, but the context of this book was really top notch for me.
Current Assessment (7/10). Basically an ode to M.O.M. technology and a really enthralling storyline on how Mindwerks went from a corporate citizen trying to overcome the adverse effects of M.O.M. technology, to possible saviour to the region, and passing through disaster into the maniacal workshop we have now. The unusual alliance with the Brodkil to do her dirty work, all the while giving her the ideal test subjects for her experimentation was a fun read and a great source for campaign ideas and adventures. As a Sourcebook, it hits the mark well enough.
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