The Bazaar #11: OCC Overview – Juicer
General. One of the iconic classes of the Rifts RPG, this was one of the more popular ones from the get-go, with a massive number of stat bonuses and combat potential. The super-human OCC was the result of some massive conversions to the body’s natural processing of chemical enzymes, over-stimulating them to allow the human body to do so much more than evolution originally designed. Basically, a human ninja souped up on their own body’s adrenaline and other chemicals to create a super Saiyan version of themselves. Big downside is having a limited life span as the body burns itself out in 5-7 years; sounds like a big downside until you realize that most players never really play this out until that culminating point.
Type of Characters. Very clearly this class falls into the Men-At-Arms segment. Compared to the others in this category, the Juicer is an individual super-soldier that can really add to the party’s overall combat capabilities. They get a fair number of skills for a combat-oriented class, but that isn’t really why you choose to play a Juicer. With a wide variety of other benefits, the Juicer provides a player with a really dynamic character in a fight that can go toe-to-toe with some truly impressive foes; just remember that one failed auto-dodge and things can go real bad, real quick.
Key Characteristics of the Juicer. The real key to this class is the myriad bonuses the Juicer conversion process provides the player; all of which are detailed before you get to the OCC Skills. Equally capable of using SDC and high-tech weapons and equipment, possessing a boat load of skills, this guy very literally starts with everything a party scout and wilderness subject matter expert needs. There are a series of OCC bonuses to attributes, reinforced by a mandatory selection from the physical skills category (twist my rubber arm). The OCC Skills are a tight package of useful choices that a PC can leverage in case the GM gets ideas of stranding a party in the boonies. The Other Skills has a pretty open, with only a select few limited to ‘None’ or very narrow choices. The number of overall skills, a relative anomaly compared to many of the more specialized combat classes in following releases, does present a player some added flexibility. Standard equipment and money are pretty much right where you want to be.
Relevant Books with Updates. A selection of relevant publications that give more depth or expand on the OCC:
Juicer Uprising (WB 10). The ‘love letter’ to the Juicer class, with detailed information on the class’s culture and expanded variations on the classic; includes CS Juicers.
Coalition War Campaign (WB 11). Provides updated information on CS Juicers.
Free Quebec (WB 22). Provides context for the FQ Juicers as part of Liberty Reserve.
How I Would Play This OCC. The Juicer is a pretty straight-forward combat class, something I would try to leverage ‘to the nines.’ Something I really appreciate is that the class certainly has a lot of roleplaying potential, despite its relatively straightforward design. I never really had an affinity for playing close combat characters, and I don’t feel this class really drives to that form of game play. A good solid ranged combat character, with some back-up vibro-swords or combat capabilities, all the while trying to up the capabilities of the group in a fight. I also would enjoy some of the roleplaying aspects of the class; the main entry and WB 10 really provides excellent resources to make this a well-rounded and worthwhile role playing character, not just a vector for rolling a lot of dice in combat.
The Juicer in Context
All Human. This OCC will likely be one the main heavy hitters, regardless if the setting is in the wilderness or more urbanized. With a strong set of statistics and bonuses in combat, supported by a relative plethora of skills, it makes a really compelling choice in this context. Able to soak up enemy attention with abilities like auto-dodge and maximize the amount of bonuses to hitting, the Juicer character could very likely become a key member of the group.
With the Big Boss(es). This is a heavy hitter among other heavy hitters. More of a scalpel than a sledgehammer, the Juicer zips around and provides assistance to the slower, heavier characters, or gets that support when their abilities and higher agility is more applicable. They can make fairly decent role-playing characters, able to provide input both prior to the encounter and during.
With the Demi-Gods. Okay, so a bit of a squishy character in comparison, the Juicer basically ends up leveraging the Big Boss(es) to the ‘Nth degree.’ The Juicer can become a great supporting character to the demi-god, providing a surprising skill base they may not benefit from; not too many gods care about detecting concealment, ambushes, intelligence, or other related skills. In the inverse, the Juicer also may provide a key input where a massive hammer is not required, allowing the demi-god characters to lay down supporting fire.
Rifts Main Book (RMB, or Grey Book) to Rifts Ultimate Edition (RUE). This OCC only saw several subtle changes between the two publications. The RUE version saw some few OCC Skill additions, as well as addition of the few Other Skills categories they added since the game’s inception; largely the OCC remained relatively unchanged. From my perspective, this was one of the OCCs that pretty much hit the bulls-eye from the start, requiring very little revision, in particular with the additions presented in Juicer Uprisings.
Final Thoughts on the Juicer. An iconic class of the game, this OCC is the culmination of human ingenuity to try and make the best super soldier possible. The OCC provides players with a plethora of bonuses and capabilities in a pinch, which gives them a fair cushion to play with in a game that is very unforgiving to new players. Alternatively, it risks developing a lack of fear for the consequences of the player’s choices; one failed critical auto-dodge roll and players could find their character eating a plasma bolt or a spell that forces them to reach for a new character sheet. I really like this character class for how it was designed in the context of the remainder of the game. It is a relatively easy choice for players to gravitate to, but does not necessarily drive them into the god-hood role. It also is well supported with an entire World Book, providing some very handy and characterful variants to the class and additions to the Juicer culture overall.
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