Scholar's Review #5: RIFTS World Book 2: Atlantis
Updated: Apr 19, 2020
Author: K. Siembieda
Release Date: 1992
Released a couple of years after RIFTS: RPG, this the second World Book gives players the first good glimpse into the mysterious return of the island continent and its current, malicious rulers.
True Atlanteans. A brief history on the Atlanteans and their links to ancient humanity and the True Atlantean RCC.
Splugorth’s Atlantis. An overview to the land held sway by supernatural beings and D-Bees. Key regions, cities and places of note are given an overview. It demonstrates how well and ingrained the interdimensional slave trade, under the mastery of Lord Splynncryth has occupied this land, as well as a hint of the near limitless resources they could draw upon if their reign was ever threatened. Supported by some spectacular artwork.
Splugorth and Their Minions. The character sheet for Splynncryth itself (MDC: 56,000+, PPE: 13,000 and ISP: 3000 for starters). Details the elites of Atlantean society, the High Lords, Conservators, and Kydian Overlords and Powerlords, and once again the Splugorth Slaver. The allied races of Kittani and their RCC, as well as the Metzla, a monstrous aliens a race of allies subtly being manipulated to revolt against the Splugorth. A quick section on the Sunaj “allies of the Splugorth.”
Splugorth Slave Stock. A small section of monsters and RCCs available for use by players and GM alike.
Tattoo Magic and Stone Powers. Magic technology involving activation of powers from tattoos, including the Tattoo Man, T-Monster Men, Maxi-Man and Undead Slayer OCCs (all have multiple tattoo powers). Stone Magic demonstrates another magic OCC and powers derived from gem stones.
Bio-Wizardry and Rune Magic. A twisted form of magic using transmutation of races to create mutations or transformations; includes the Bio-Borg OCC, a list of various organisms grafted to hosts, and bio-weapons based on this technology. Rune magic is an exclusive to Splugorth form of bio-wizardry, creating weapons and items of truly heroic-level powers; not for the average player character.
Kittani. A series of power armour and robots the Kittani allies use in service to the Splynncryth. Newton Ewell adds some great depth to these entries (indeed throughout the book), in particular the two-page spread of the Dragon Dreadnought!
Upon Release (7/10). The second release in the World Book series, Atlantis did a fair job giving some extra background to the Rifts world, as well as define one of the major players in the meta-plotline. The ability of the Splugorth to manipulate nexus points and draw on a Megaverse-spanning empire establishes a power level for all other major players to be compared to; one that the Coalition States and humanity, writ-large, fails hard to meet. A good addition to the line, supported by some consistently great art work by Kevin Long and Newton Ewell.
Current Assessment (5/10). WB2 is pretty much summarized by the number in the name. As a reference book for happenings on the island continent it is decent enough, though more recent releases drive the narrative further; World Book 21: Splynn Dimensional Market among others. It gives some monsters for campaign design and encounters, as well as some nuggets for storytelling; in particular what the Splugorth are looking to get out of Rifts Earth, and some of what they are doing to manipulate things. Overall though, newer books drive things better. That artwork still holds up really strong, even today.
Continue to Scholar's Review #6 (Sourcebook2: Mechanoids) (forthcoming)
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