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Rifts® Vampire Kingdoms Sneak Preview $0.00
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Rifts® Vampire Kingdoms Sneak Preview
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Rifts® Vampire Kingdoms Sneak Preview
Publisher: Palladium Books
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/29/2011 07:25:24

Originally Published At:

Here’s a fact that every horror genre afficionado knows:

There’s nothing fresh about vampires. Naturally, that doesn’t stop people from getting it on with the vampire love, sometimes literally if Anne Rice and Stephenie Meyer are any indication. Like most varieties of creative output, some vampire stories are good, and some are not so good, and some frankly, downright suck. Rifts: Vampire Kingdoms - from the perspective of a horror aficionado is passably good, but from the perspective of a gamer and sometime gamemaster, it suffers from the usual amount of problems associated with any Palladium game.

Rifts is a massive game. I’ve devoted an entire bookshelf to supplements big and small, thick and thin, and have plenty of fond memories of my ever mercurial gaming troupe cutting and blasting and smashing swathes through the multiverse, chasing whatever plot bait I put out for them. One of the first things I realized when going through literally any Rifts book is that while the books will be long on story and setting, they’ll also include a ridiculous amount of unnecessary rules. The pattern has been that the story world is lush and layered with a virtual cornucopia of elements steeped in dramatic opportunity, and then the mechanics are such that gameplay is dragged out into the street and beaten like a dog.

Rifts: Vampire Kingdoms isn’t any different. The approach is from the perspective of a report by vampire hunter Doc Reid (of Reid’s Rangers featured in the original book). It gives a rundown on who the vampires are, where they are from, how they spread and how to kill them. It makes use of tropes anyone familiar with horror, and vampires in particular, will be able to instantly recognize and appreciate. The mood Reid inspires is tense, with a hint of the sick moral craziness associated with any good horror yarn, and then it devolves into three or four pages of convoluted very specific rules about how to wack one of these nameless faceless antagonists in the heart using mallet, crossbow, and any other weapon under the sun. Now if that’s your thing and you like it when your games devolve into mathematical exercises in probability featuring dice, clandestine mathematics, and detail oriented rules, then this is for you. But if you’re like me and you play these games with the idea of telling a compelling story and scaring the crap out of your players with mood, ambiance and tragic, doomed characters, then toss out the extraneous rules and make them up on the fly when you need them. If you read just the teaser for the game, the copious amounts of rules kind of gives an idea of what the actual book is going to be like, and if Palladium’s track record holds true, then this book won’t be any different from the others. But hey, at least the vampires don’t sparkle.

[3 of 5 Stars!]
Rifts® Vampire Kingdoms Sneak Preview
Publisher: Palladium Books
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/21/2011 05:58:51

A delightful excerpt to whet your appetite for this forthcoming work, consisting of a pseudo-scholarly discourse explaining the true nature of vampires in a 'popular science' article.

It covers what a true vampire actually is, how a human (or D-Bee for that matter) becomes one - in a nutshell, it's fast and it's fatal - and debunks many of the myths that have built up around vampires. Various ways of dealing with them are discussed, with commentary on how effective each method is... and how practical: whilst a stake through the heart WILL put paid to one, have you ever thought just how hard it is to drive one into a vampire's chest accurately, while he is very likely objecting to the procedure?

It's a treat to read in its own right, and if the rest of the book lives up to this standard, I'm looking forward to it!

(Where's my garlic? Darn, dearly beloved cooked it all...)

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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