The Bazaar #13: OCC Overview – Glitter Boy
Updated: Jan 21
General. One of the iconic classes of the Rifts RPG, this was one of the more popular ones from the get-go. Sporting a laser-resistant suit of power armour (in a game where most mega-damage weapons were lasers) that started at a whopping 770 MDC and fired one of the most powerful single-shot weapons around certainly made it a tempting start point. At the outset, I am fairly certain GMs would have had a bit of adjustments to their encounters to compensate for this behemoth of a beat-stick, or found more ingenious ways to make things interesting. Let’s get it out there from the outset, even a GB pilot can’t remain contained in his power armour indefinitely, which is a pretty obvious weakness. That said, there is nothing like sporting a character with the shiniest target for the antagonist’s forces to target.
Type of Characters. Very clearly this class falls into the Men-At-Arms segment. Compared to the others in this category, the Glitter Boy is pilot, specifically trained in the operation of one particular suit of power armour. This cross-pollinates into the character’s ability to pilot a number of other types of suits, but you always remember your first love, and this love is all sorts of shiny! The fact of the matter it, as a beat-stick character, it has its obvious threat potential, but also forces players to compensate for some weaknesses, making them a more dynamic character than simply point-and-click target. There is more to this OCC than what happens while donning the GB suit; GMs and players, remember that!
Key Characteristics of the Glitter Boy. The key to understanding the Glitter Boy is that this is a pilot class that is a mix between a knight and mercenary. As originally presented, they were one of the paragon classes for acceptance and tolerance of D-Bees, practitioners of magic and psychics, likely due in most part to the Glitter Boy armour. Why fear something you can make disappear into a cloud of mist with one shot? As far as the OCC entry itself is concerned, there really isn’t much there after the list of OCC Skills and selection criteria for Other and Secondary Skills; even then, there are not very many choices to be had compared to say, the Coalition Elite RPA Pilot OCC. This really implies to the strength that game designers associated with the GB power armour. Otherwise, standard equipment and money are pretty much right where you want it to be.
Relevant Books with Updates. A selection of comparable OCCs of similar design:
Japan (WB 8). Some additional types of Glitter Boy power armour suits and optional additional weapons.
Coalition War Campaign (WB 11). Provides updated contextual information on the Glitter Boy, in particular the Coalition States’ expectations for certain power armour designed to exploit GB power armour weaknesses.
Free Quebec (WB 22). Expands on the Glitter Boy OCC, presenting a few new and relevant associated OCCs to the mix. It also provides a consolidated list of the variants available for the GB Pilot.
How I Would Play This OCC. The Glitter Boy is pretty much a straight up threat to any antagonist or encounter. That said, it faces some key vulnerabilities that I would have to compensate for. The first is obviously dealing with smaller, faster opponents, particularly in urban or close-quarter settings. This really would rely on my squad-mates (other PCs) to compensate and provide close support, letting me keep pulling the trigger; or continue to act as the great big shiny distraction (pun intended). That said, there is more to this class than the Boom Gun. As an adventurer, I could see myself hiring out to go after the major threats causing harm to anyone. Otherwise, I’m all-in with the Glitter Boy Legions out of Free Quebec trying to fight off the oppressive Coalition States. The key for me would be to try and make the most out of the time *not* occupying the power armour, which is dependent on the GM and the remainder of the party. I could see the class losing appeal if all it devolved into was the equivalent of a hack-and-slash campaign.
The Glitter Boy 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. Relying on the power armour’s strengths (resiliency and firepower), the remainder of the party can really enable this OCC to great effect. Just remember that those weaknesses need to be dealt with, or you may find yourself playing a pilot without his vehicle.
With the Big Boss(es). Remains a heavy hitter among other heavy hitters. Unlike the Juicer, this one is more of a sledgehammer than a scalpel, firing for massive amount of damage per shot while others also target the main threat or use the GB as cover to provide support elsewhere. They can make fairly decent role-playing characters, able to provide input both prior to the encounter and during (duh…!).
With the Demi-Gods. Okay, so when the playing field gets levelled out with Cosmo-Knights and demi-gods, the GB pilot looks more like a glorified wannabe. “You you’re your MDC doesn’t come with natural regeneration? And you have to leave your protective shell each day?” Pfft. “What do you mean you *only* have 100 rounds to fire? No, the sound doesn’t bother me, like, at all!” In this case, a bit of a squishy character in comparison. The Glitter Boy likely ends up supporting the Big Boss(es) with heavy firepower and lets someone else try and be the biggest target.
Rifts Main Book (RMB, or Grey Book) to Rifts Ultimate Edition (RUE). This OCC only saw several subtle changes between the two publications. In RUE, we have several additional bonuses to SDC and combat stats, along with a slightly more restrictive skills selection options, but all else remains pretty much unchanged, less the OCC introductory text and that the Glitter Boy power armour entry is included with the OCC. From my perspective, the OCC pretty much hit the bulls-eye from the start, requiring little overall revision. The only thing that really changed is the different versions of GB suits there are, and with some details on how they are employed by Free Quebec.
Final Thoughts on the Glitter Boy. An iconic class of the game, this OCC is the culmination of human ingenuity and engineering, leveraging one of the most iconic and power power armour suits in the game. The OCC itself doesn’t present players with an overt multitude of options, but this adds some element of risk to a character that is very limited to what it can bully or influence on their own. The class is fairly straightforward, which makes it very appealing for newer players who may want to explore what the game has to offer. A savvy GM could make that experience pretty harrowing and ultimately disappointing, so some measure or care should be expected; nothing busts a player’s bubble worse than being forced out of their protective armour to be brought down by a stray laser blast. Supported by a few other World Books, the class has several options for how it gets played (mercenary, wandering hero, scion of Free Quebec), making it fairly robust as an allowable choice by a GM.
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