Scholar’s Review #26: RIFTS World Book 21: Splynn Dimensional Market
Author: Kevin Siembieda
Release Date: September 1999
Otherwise known as Rifts Atlantis 2, we dive into the heart of the Splynn control mechanism of the island continent, and one of the many reasons how they have been able to manage their power base. The Splynn Market is a smorgasbord of high-powered beings and intelligences peddling information, product and services to fund their inter-dimensional enterprises. Rifts Earth is literally just the backyard to this bustling trade center, where humanity is on equal footing with the most meaningless and mere of slave stock. Major players are detailed, as well as the various forms of commerce that Splynncryth keeps a tight rein on.
The Splynn Dimensional Market. Provides several pages of background and contextual information of what the market look and feels like. A good deal of time and space is devoted to demonstrate the hedonistic, self-serving, and bigoted nature of the market. Humans and humanoids are *very* much at the low-end of the pecking order.
Notable Splynn Merchants. So we start with the “Primary Merchants,” including the Water Merchant, Weapons Merchant, The Feline Cages, Bone Merchant and a series of others that a GM could really exploit for their adventures. These guys could make for some great protagonists both in Atlantis and elsewhere across the globe. Semi-Regular and Transient Merchant provides the reader a great series of adventure ideas.
Places of Note. A series of relatively well involve3d segments on the major structures, how they operate and how players could be manipul…. ahem, adventure ideas can be revealed.
The Authorities. A cast of characters that control the Splynn Market on behalf of Lord Splynncryth. Expect many “evil” alignments with a heavy dose of MDC.
The Liberated Underground. Well, it wouldn’t be an Atlantis book without mentioning a Chiang-ku dragon, now would it? Guess what? They help the resistance too! A trio of NPC characters and basic resistance data provided.
New Slave Stock. With 14 new monsters and RCC entries to play with, there is a lot of meat on the bone here, backed up by some truly great artwork. A really fun segment to read.
New Magic Tattoos. As advertised on the tin. Tattoos… and the Tattood Archer OCC.
Bio-Wizard Organisms. Some fresh new bio-wizardry concoctions; about 20 in all. Some truly grotesque manipulations for the truly sadistic GM wanting to make a PC into a bio-Borg, or as a result of being captured. Bear your friends’ reaction in mind before doing so. Just a friendly thought. Includes bio-wizard weapons, corrupted Millenium weapons and Eye of Eylor devices. Oh yeah, how to manipul…. Create bio-Borgs as an RCC! Sounds like fun!
Notable Weapons and Equipment. Standard list of Kittani weapons and armour. Enter the Kittani Centipede and Flying Fox, because the Kittani needed something *just like* (but not) the SAMAS – only better.
Skyborne Excursions. They actually included a tour agency to the continent of Atlantis. Comes with hover platforms and sites to see! Don’t forget to commemorate your stay with video and still picture memories on your TW camcorder. Don’t leave your home dimension without it!
Upon Release (6/10). First released, this book had the dubious honour of following Rifts Canada (so no great shoes to fill) but is also a follow-up to Rifts Atlantis, one of the more popular books. More of an adventure travelogue and resource for GMs on how to employ the copious information packed herein, it wasn’t something that kicked most people’s imagination into high gear, something I certainly lost on initial reading. It took two or three more times to realize that this was a great book, chock-full of ideas to implement in my campaigns without actually forcing the PCs to the island continent. The artwork supported the expansive yet in-depth approach, a feat in and of itself. The idea that the Kittani needed something that was basically a knock-off SAMAS was a let-down. A solid piece, it supports and amplifies campaigns on any continent.
Current Assessment (7/10). This book did a fantastic job of detailing a truly alien environment and making the human visitors feel like the miniscule and downtrodden beings they are in the context of the Splynn Market. It provides that proper division between cold hard facts of character data sheets and beast/vehicle specs with the atmospherics to give a GM more than enough to play with. There is a vast coverage of what it’s like to be there, as well as the multitude of slaves and services available. I won’t ever say it is a must-buy for anyone, but the background it provides and adventure hooks are aplenty; a great read, with some great artwork to back it up the multitude of campaign and world building fragments a crafty GM or player could use.
Continue to Scholar's Review #27 (World Book #22: Free Quebec) (forthcoming)
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