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  • Writer's pictureFrancois DesRochers

Scholar's Review #3 - RIFTS Conversion Book 1

Updated: Jan 6

Author: K. Siembieda Release Date: 1991

Note: This review is based on the original edition, First Printing (1991).


Released a year or so after RIFTS: RPG, the Conversion Book gave GMs and players a wealth of information to play with. Up until that point, one of the greatest problems I had was developing monsters and D-Bees for the campaign. This book quickly became a library of sorts for use in campaign development.


Rules Clarifications. A fair few rules clarifications and expansion on details for the combat sequence. Includes rules for “shooting wild” first mention of WP Sharpshooting. Converting Characters. General rules for conversion of monsters and humanoids, including Horror Factor, OCCs, etc. Also goes into details of conversions from the other Palladium games, such as ROBOTECH, Beyond the Supernatural, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Heroes Unlimited (and a selection of super powers to make a playable character) and Ninjas & Superspies. Also includes Witch and Warlock OCCs, two new magical classes with some great flavour to them. Character Races, D-Bees, Aliens and Mutants. The VAST majority of the book, a collection of beasts, D-Bees, monsters and playable races. Literally dozens of entries to choose from, including such as True Giants, Fairie Folk, adult dragons, monsters converted in from Beyond the Supernatural, and Alien Intelligences (demons, gods and demi-gods) with our first look at the Demons and Deevils. A variety of artists give some great context for players and GMs alike. The artwork supports the entries really well and there are some really outstanding pieces from Gustovich (the lion's share of images), supported by pieces from Long and Siembieda. Personal favorite goes to the Lizard Mage and the Baal-Rog (also found on the back cover), but with almost 200 entries, you're bound to find something you like. A short list of the major groups of entries:

  • Optional Player Races: 64 entries.

  • Monsters from Palladium (Fantasy): 57 entries.

  • Monsters from Beyond the Supernatural: 23 entries.

  • Demons & Elementals: 40 entries.


Upon Release (10/10). Another great addition to the game! Aside from a few rules clarifications and extra OCCs, the plethora of beasties and D-Bees was a treasure trove for me as a GM. Aside from rules for game mechanics, some of the races provide some great story ideas and ways to dovetail them into an ongoing campaign. Really good stuff here.

Current Assessment (9/10). Even with the release of newer books, some of which have updated and superseded several entries (Demons and Deevils among others), this book is still a wealth of knowledge and ideas. From a campaign designer’s position, any book that gives you a multitude of entries to play with is a good thing, and this one does so in spades without locking into a certain geographical location.

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