Scholar's Review 13: Rifts World Book 9 (South America 2)
Author: C.J. Carella
Release Date: 1995
The book details what occurred in the regions once dominated by the countries of Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay, Chile, and Argentina. There is a lot of information to process; the book attempts to cover a lot of ground and cultures. It’s no great surprise why the continent got two books, roughly splitting northern and southern halves; this one detailed the south.
Empire of the Sun. A historical overview from pre-Apocalypse through to the present. The Nazcan civilization, as presented, was one of 3 great civilizations of ancient days, on par with ancient Atlantis and Lemuria. As Atlantis disappeared, it stole the magic energies that Nazcans used as the basis for the technology that launched their ascendancy. In post-apocalyptic times, the rebirth of magical energies drew the return of their gods and ancient Nazcan line magic revived. Major cities get a brief overview. This really was an interesting read, one of the better ones yet.
OCCs & RCCs. Includes True Incan Demi-Gods and a series of flavourful magical OCC, as well as Nazcan Line Magic. I found this a particularly interesting read.
Pantheon of the Sun. Ancient supernatural intelligences that posed as Incan gods. Massive regeneration, starts around 9,000 MDC. Some heroes that work for the gods. Interesting write-ups, but nothing new here.
Forces of Darkness. Some compelling evil entries, like Ancient Indian Undead, Blood Weaver, Pucara Red Giants and Mind Mages.
Weapons & Equipment of the Empire of the Sun. A series of weapons, power armour and robots, and vehicles.
Arkhons. Ancient alien enemies of the Nazca have returned. One of the few D-Bee aliens to arrive in starships. Overview of their forces, foreign relations, and a series of OCCs and RCCs to play these bad boys as player characters. A conquered D-Bee race presented as well. Weapons, equipment, power armour and robots (including that red behemoth on the cover).
The Megaversal Legion. Trans-dimensional mercenaries that broke free from the yoke of their overlords, a race called the Dakir, the Legion takes root in South America. A series of OCCs & RCCs, weapons, equipment, power armour and vehicles.
Silver River Republics. A loose confederation of nations that have some interest in helping each other out, when not bickering among themselves. Comparatively around the same power as the Coalition States.
Cordoba. Saved much of their pre-Rifts tech, including a small army of Glitter Boys. Heavily human supremacist, apparently on par with Coalition States. Run by a dictatorial family.
Santiago. More tolerant of D-Bees, they are the slightly smaller power to Cordoba. Similar military except the Special Phallanx, a unit of hodgepodge Juicers, Crazies, TW Crazies, magic users, D-Bees, etc. Also Glitter Boys. Some regional OCCs, including Plains Borg and Ultra-Crazy.
Achilles Republic. A mutant animal menagerie, likely on a collision course with Cordoba. Includes a Serpentoid, Mutant Chapybara, Equinoid, Condroid, Falconoid and Neo-Human RCCs.
New Babylon. Wealthiest and most distrusted of the group. Mixed humans and D-Bees (largely the Amarki), they have much in the way of technology and TW. Amaki Stone Man, Duellist, and Gizmoteer RCCs.
Southern Federation. A loose confederation of cities (in a loose confederation of countries) that survived the coming of the Rifts. The Shining Path was an interesting read; a guerrilla group in South America.
Larhold Barbarians. Nomadic race of magic wielding raiders. History and RCCs, as well as Human Renegades and Shamans that make up their forces. Blue Magic as an additional list of spells available to mages.
Upon Release (6/10). Admittedly purchased to maintain my complete collection at the time, I didn’t really find much here for my campaigns, aside from a few unusual D-Bees and monsters. I didn’t really buy into the Nazcan history all that much in my first couple of reviews. To be honest, there just seemed to be too much information for me to solidly grab on to something and run with it. I had a couple of player characters choose some of the various OCCs or RCCs, but nothing that broke the bank. The artwork was superb to me, but that really was the only draw for me at the time.
Current Assessment (8/10). In retrospect, this was yet another World Book that I largely overlooked when it first came out. This time around, a review really impressed me. The presentation of a multitude of cultural influences from South American culture into a sci-fi setting with gods and aliens interspersed with human(oids) just trying to make a place for themselves, created a very interesting narrative. There are a number of solid campaign plans you can draw from or throw your players into. The artwork truly holds up, with R.K. Post’s style really adding to the book’s overall feel. A solid read and source for setting material.