• Francois DesRochers

Scholar's Review 15: Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising

Updated: Jun 17


Author: C.J. Carella

Release Date: 1996

GENERAL


The book really is the first World Book to markedly advance the timeline of Rifts Earth, providing the plot background, historical context and regional information for anyone running a North American campaign. It is also an ode to one of the most iconic classes from Rifts, the eponymous Juicers. Where Source Book 3 gave us an ode to the Crazy, this one gives players and GMs alike a treat as we delve into the details of life as a Juicer, the dangers they pose in combat, as well as the burgeoning threats they impose on the ruling societies across the globe. A lot of the more “minor” locales are detailed within the context of the Juicer society, the Coalition States, as well as the events that lead to, during and after the Juicer Uprising.


SECTIONS


The Juicer Revisited. A historical perspective on the Juicer class and the technology that Uberchem Inc created that gave birth to these super soldiers; thus completes the trilogy with Mindwerks for the Mind-over-Matter (M.O.M. tech for Crazies) and the Achilles Project to create mutants and human intelligence. A nice historical piece that gives a great overview of pre-Rifts Earth and how Juicers began to what we are presented. Some nice dangers and side effects for Juicer procedures, as well as non-human Juicer effects. The Juicer Culture is visited, providing players and GMs a better overview of the class. The Juicer Sports may be a take-it or leave-it piece, but overall a really nicely developed background on this iconic class.


New Juicer Variants. The meat of the book for most players.


  • Hyperion Juicer. Basically a super-Juicer, with all the extra bonuses and abilities you’d expect; super-speedy Juicers, but they burn the candle at both ends with a blow torch.

  • Titan Juicer. Super-big and beefy Juicers, these guys are basically minor Mega-Damage Capacity brutes.

  • Phaeton Juicer. Juicer pilots extraordinaire.

  • Mega-Juicer. Imagine, if you will, crossing Juicer technology and M.O.M. technology. Well, you get this guy.

  • Delphi Juicer. A psychic Juicer......


Coalition Juicers. A quick history of Juicers across the CS, including some dissenting voices that have called for more Juicers in the CS Military. A blurb about the Free Quebec Liberty Reserve and Colonel Lyboc’s secret labs converting hand-picked volunteers. They are officially “not sanctioned” soldiers of the CS.


Techno-Wizard Juicers. A macabre blend of magic and hyper-stimulant technology presented in the Dragon Juicer (dragon’s blood as part of the process), and Murder-Wraiths (Undead Juicers and NPC villians – and ever-so over the top at that).


Splugorth Juicers. The Maxi-Killer (Bio-Wizard Juicer) uses symbiote implants to augment its abilities; comes with some latent insanities.

Juicer-Related OCCs. You have the Juicer Gladiator (for those Juicer sports), Juicer Assassin, Juicer Scout, the Gambler (non-Juicer class linked to those Juicer Sports), Wannabe Juicer (non-Juicer class) and some designer drugs that mimic Juicer capabilities without the full conversion.


New Skills. Nothing much to see here; some interesting entries found in the Juicer Sports realm, but otherwise just skill descriptions with percentages.


Weapons and Equipment. Some hand weapons, body armour (juicer class variant specific), a variety of small arms, power armour and ground vehicles, supported by Newton Ewell artwork that gives a very Akira-esque vibe.


Juicer Organizations. Based on the Mercenary Company Design rules from Rifts Mercenaries.


  • The Valkyri. An all-female band of Juicer mercs; guerrilla and counter-guerrilla experts. Gives new meaning to the term ultra-feminist.

  • The Society of Sages. Operating out of Kingsdale, they acquired the secret to making Dragon Juicers and have built a small army of them.

  • The Juicer Army of Liberation. Led by Julian the First, a Juicer with a grudge against the CS.

  • The Grim Reapers. Led by a master-level Necromancer with hundreds of acolytes and pawns, with some notable Murder-Wraith exceptions.


Place & Nations of Interest. A detailed breakdown of the socio-economic and political structures of Kingsdale (White Plains, Missouri) and Los Alamo (Austin, Texas), including how they embrace D-Bees and magic, as well as their key military forces and places of interest for a GM to run a campaign from here.


Notes of Juicers and Other Kingdoms. Some good information for GMs on how to work Juicer character arcs or background into their campaigns.


  • City of Newtown (Fort Smith, Arkansas). A new addition to the CS, they have a long history of harbouring and creating Juicers based on the creation of Ultra-Tech Incorporated (UTI). It covers the city in much the same level of detail as Kingsdale and Los Alamo.

  • Fort El Dorado (El Dorado, Arkansas). Sister city to Newtown, they hosted the movement of Juicer conversion facilities for Newtown after they joined the CS. It covers the city in much the same level of detail as Kingsdale and Los Alamo.


The Juicer Uprising. Now we get to the meat of it (page 132 of 160)! What really amounts to a meta-plot event advancement, and without giving away the twists and turns (cause there are a number of them), it gives GMs a great platform to develop adventures for players, either directly implicated as a Juicer player/helping allies of the Juicers, maybe from the CS side of the equation, or an entirely neutral third party looking to take advantage of the carnage this epic conflict would cause? There are myriad adventure ideas presented in this section, each tied to several key events to lead to the full-on uprising; each of these could be developed into mini-campaigns that could see players adventure throughout the region.


IMPRESSIONS


Upon Release (5/10). Admittedly I never purchased this book because I never had much interest in Juicers, and a buddy of mine had it. It really was that ode to Juicers that I never really bought into. The additional classes seemed interesting enough, just not enough for me. I also didn’t have my campaigns reach this region or tie into the meta-plot. That said, I knew anecdotally that it gave a lot of players a new lease on one of their favourite classes and had some adventure ideas. It was also one of the first World Books that truly advanced the plot line.


Current Assessment (9/10). This was a World Book I overlooked for all the wrong reasons. Reading this thing through from front cover to back was a real page-turner, something I am truly sorry to have missed. Everything in this book is worth the buy: the artwork is great, the layout flows from one section to the next, the history of the class and the pre-Apocalypse Earth and new variants are intriguing (if not OP), lots of world information for some of the cities listed in the Main Book, and there are literally tons of adventure ideas for players and GMs alike! This book really did fire on all cylinders, and quite frankly is easily a top 5 for all Rifts books up until this point in the library.


Continue to Scholar's Review #16 (World Book #11: Coalition War Campaign) (forthcoming)

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