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Palladium Books Going Out of Business 126

kainewynd2 writes to mention a public plea put out in the Palladium books forums by the company owner Kevin Siembada. He bemoans the Rifts publisher's poor financial outlook, and asks people to buy a $50 print to save the company. From the post: "The truly wonderful Rifts® videogame - Rifts® Promise of Power - was stillborn. The N-Gage platform never took off in North America. That meant the N-Gage and Rifts® Promise of Power would NOT be available on the mass market in the USA and Canada. Finding it anywhere in North America required an act of God. There would be no Nokia royalty-based revenue stream. Nor would there be a Nokia videogame sequel and the money that might come from it. Nokia treated me nothing short of GREAT. They lost truckloads of money on this venture. We're both the victims of marketing fallout. Please don't blame these wonderful people for Palladium's woes - circumstance just didn't make them part of our solution." Wow, they made a game for the N-Gage and then lost a bunch of money. Who ever could have forseen that?
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Palladium Books Going Out of Business

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  • Finally? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by revlayle ( 964221 ) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @11:55AM (#15165404) Homepage
    Palladium made interesting and rich game worlds. Unfortunately, their game system is much to be desired, IMNSHO. Book formatting, editing and quality were always under par (I had trouble looking up most things in any of their books). Great ideas and poor execution. I'm personally suprised they lasted this long.
  • Palladium (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tebriel ( 192168 ) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @11:56AM (#15165414)
    Great settings, horrible game mechanics.

    I am a huge fan of the Rifts setting and I love the Robotech material, but the character and combat systems are unwieldy. If they had better game mechanics, I'd start buying and playing their stuff again.
    • Re:Palladium (Score:4, Interesting)

      by HunterZ ( 20035 ) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @12:07PM (#15165506) Journal
      Same here. First pen-and-paper RPG I played was Heroes Unlimited. I found their rule system impossible to grasp as a first RPG, however, and even more frustrating was that they simply copied-and-pasted the core rules into every book they published, instead of revising them to be more coherent with each new book. Even better would have been to publish an independent core rule manual that would be required as a base for use with the individual setting books (Robotech, Rifts, TMNT, etc.), which they then could have revised over time.

      Alternatively, they could/should have jumped on the d20 system when it became popular.
      • I have an intense dislike of D20, and it's not because of the system itself - it's just that after the 90th time you play a game with the same system they all seem like cookie-cutter knockoffs of each other. I had the same problem with GURPs - all characters in that system had a fairly predictable set of talents and flaws and after a while it lost its novelty.

        On Palladium, however and strangely enough, my biggest dislike was how their systems interacted together, followed by the perpetual inclusion of misb
        • You weren't playing Glitter Boys properly, then. The Glitter Boy cannot fire the Boom Gun unless it's locked into place -- which prevents it from moving for at least that attack. This makes it a sitting duck for incoming fire. Rifts is full of munchkins (like basically everything in South America 1), but there are ways of counteracting most of them. The easiest way is for the GM to say, "No." Anyone who can't live with that decision can leave. (This goes for every RPG out there with something that cou
        • In Rifts, I found that the safest thing to do was define the type of game you were going to run first, then limit the characters appropriatly. For example, I very often limited my players to the main book only for OCC/RCC selections. And then they were often restricted as well. It seemed like every time a new book came out there was an attempt to make the classes contained in it even more powerful than before. By the time Atlantis came out, there was no point in any of the base book's classes. And god
    • Re:Palladium (Score:3, Informative)

      I never cared for Rifts, but I enjoyed the Robotech setting. I agree about their game rules. They're just awful, awful crap. It should not take more than 15 minutes to make an awesome character, but with the wierd class system, the poor options for skills, and their combat mechanics, this is impossible in Palladium.

      In any event, the pen and paper RPG companies have been declining for years. There's a small number of gamers who are big fans, but there's not a lot of them. And the books seem to cost a fortune
      • Re:Palladium (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jeffasselin ( 566598 )
        ICE ( []), makers of the Rolemaster system, started understanding this a while ago and have been selling PDF versions of their books online, with great success from what I've seen. I've bought a few myself.

        The first "real" RPG I ever played was Palladium's RIFTS and Palladium worlds, I had most of their books. I agree that the system was somewhat unyieldy mostly due to the lack of clear-cut classifications and categories. Rolemaster is a lot more complex, yet has an inherent structure
        • Re:Palladium (Score:3, Interesting)

          The first RPG I played seriously was some early version of D&D. All we had was 3d or 4th generation xeroxes of about half of a couple of the books, so we added our own ideas and rules as needed, and played in a very freeform style. Eventually, though, I got into Palladium Robotech, and a couple of years later, GURPS. I've pretty much stuck with GURPS since then, though I still really haven't bothered with 4th ed. The 3d ed. works well enough if you trim out some of the slower rules (I hate combat in any
          • Capt - When you do look into it start with HARP [] The 'light' rules are free to download [](Caution pdf). You will find combat slow till you get used to it, once you do it is usually quick and bloody. And the full rules are a $10 pdf. Good luck - it is a great game.


            This post is official rules. I am a DM, I am not your DM, and this is not rule advice.

            Sorry - I just had to ;)

          • Rolemaster combat is somewhat long, but it's also rather exciting. My players strangely enough look forward to getting fights. To each his own I guess.
        • Rolemaster was at times brilliant and a headache. Making a character the first time as you went through the rules could take hours. But, they had a rule for just about every situation you could think of, so both players and GMs know what to expect.

          It was similiar with Space Opera, one of the less known games out there. You could spend a lot of time designing a character and a ship. Combat was slow at times, because you had to have everyone understanding the rules.

          I think one of the reasons that DnD, AD
    • I remember their system being pretty bad, but you know what? We were kids when my friends and I played it every lunch hour and we had fun.

      As terrible as the game mechanics are, I still think there's a place for them. I, for one, don't want to see every rpg run the d20 system (as good as that system may be). Variety is good. Whether the market can support variety is another question altogether.

  • MISLEADING HEADLINE! (Score:1, Informative)

    by JimTheta ( 115513 )

    They are NOT going out of business. RTFA, submitter! (You too, Zonk!)

    Yet. Kevin is asking for help to keep them afloat. Signed & numbered prints. Your name in a book.

    Read the article.

    • by gowen ( 141411 )
      Kevin is asking for help to keep them afloat
      Dude. If your company needs help to be kept afloat, then it is going out of business.

      However you want to spin it: Not afloat = out of business.
    • by Zonk ( 12082 ) * on Thursday April 20, 2006 @12:44PM (#15165866) Homepage Journal
      A plea for their fans to bail them out of several thousand dollars worth of debt sounds like a 'going out of business' sign to me. I understand your objection, but the content of the post is pretty clear.

      I have very, very little sympathy for Palladium. They're a business. They may be selling fantasy, but they work in the real world. In the real world, if you want to call yourself a business, you don't go screaming to the people who have been propping you up all these years because you have some financial troubles.

      That's what Chapter 11 is for.
      • Don't get me wrong, I can't stand their overcomplex game system, and the NGage bet was a mark of stupidity. I'm not defending them in any way. But a fact is a fact, and your headline isn't. They might be swirling the drain, but they aren't down it. All your headline needs is "might be".

        • Let's go a little semantical on this...

          The "may be" you want is implied in the headline. The word "going" before "out of business" tells you two things: 1) They're not out of business yet and b) that they are on the way out of business - both true. If the words "may be" were inserted into the headline, it seems like they would minimize how much trouble the company is in, and the company is in deep trouble. Considering the desperation of begging customers (and the words like "crisis" and "out of option
      • Actually, it's not a crushing debt load that is hurting them, but loss due to theft and embezzlement. A few bad business decisions, like going with the N-Gage instead of PC or other platforms, have made them vulnerable to this sort of thing, but the theft is what has caused the cry for help.
      • I'd have to disagree, only because I've seen this happen many many times. It's just a fact, these guys operate on very thin margins. They are constantly a few bad months away from bankruptcy. Steve Jackson, ICE, Hero Games, etc -- every publisher other than TSR/Wizards/Hasbro (and TSR was in danger of dying -- that's why WOTC bought them!). They've all done this sort of appeal to fans, as have many small comics publishers I'm acquainted with (again, basically everyone except DC and Marvel has had these
        • Palladium isn't the only RPG company to get hit with embezzlement issues. As I understand it from a friend that used to do freelance art for SJGames, that company nearly went under a while back due to embezzlement. Not sure what all went down, but his contract was terminated as part of a rapid cost-cutting move made in order to save the company.
    • Considering that they're liable to shut their doors permanent-like if they don't get a cash injection from somewhere in short term, ostensibly due to a recently ongoing embezzelment of funds from out of the company.

      He laid it all on the table as best as he could, because of litigation demands preventing the whole story from being told (Which I believe is higly possible...).

      It doesn't matter WHERE the money comes from, they just need a serious cash influx to keep them afloat for the longer-term cashflow item
    • From TFA:For legal reasons, I cannot go into details about exactly what happened. Suffice it to say that betrayal of trust, theft, and embezzlement has inflicted what we estimate to be $850,000 to 1.3 million dollars in damages to Palladium. It is a blow from which Palladium cannot recover. At least, not without YOUR help.

      This sounds a little more like 'we are seriously going out of business' than the local furniture store sale.

      From parent: Read the article. Touche.

      Please mod the parent down.

    • Yeah, one of my former co-workers is keeping them in business. He keeps track of Rifts book release dates better than the average comic fan keeps track of when comic movies are released. Of course if they did go out of business, I think he would slash his wrists and start doing push-ups. I don't know if the heart attack from all the sudden exertion or the loss of blood would kill him first.
  • If your company is resorting to pleading with people on the Internet to buy $50 prints in order to save the company, the company is already doomed. Sorry you had to hear about it this way, Kevin.
  • MMO Material (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Profcrab ( 903077 )
    Rifts is a fantastic setting for an MMO. As other people have said, the game mechanics are attrocious. When making it into a computer game, however, all those mechanics can be trashed and just the world setting used. If they got a deal going, I would definitely be paying attention. I bought the Rifts rule book when it first came out.
    • And you'd still have a game where an extremely powerful mage will be mashed with no contest by the first moderate fighter who happens by. Palladium game system sucks because it's severely unbalanced, not just because of game mechanics.
      • I do agree that any attempt of a balanced Rifts video game would have to sacrifice the amazingly unbalanced nature of the game. You couldnt have PC dragons and PC human scouts on the same playing field and have it be fair. Making such a game would be quite a momentous task.
        • I dunno. You do away with that "megadamage" bullshit, like my group did when we played this PnP, and it could be much more balanced.

          There's actually a group that has a Neverwinter Nights server and module based on the Palladium fantasy world.

          I liked the Palladium games that I played.

          Yeah, the mechanics were a bit wonky, but the mechanics of most RPGs are wonky in spots.
          • We just played RIFTS or Shadowrun settings in other game systems, like GURPS or that one based on 1d6 (I forgot the name of it).

            Sure, you can make a 150pt uber-juicer orc, but he'll have one eye, alcoholism, and the shakes. And would still be taken out by a lucky kid with a sling.

            But the most fun was playing the Aeon Flux setting.... surveilance cameras made out of telepathic rat-brains, etc.
      • Re:MMO Material (Score:2, Insightful)

        by BDZ ( 632292 )
        I never GMed a Rifts campaign, but I played in one that ran on and off (switching off w/ my own Shadowrun campaign) for years.

        While I agree, putting different archtypes up against one another could be a slaughterfest, I never found this to be a detriment to the game. Or, at least to how my group played it. We stuck pretty close to the combat rules, but the game was a lot more about role playing and exploring the incredible world of the game.

        My characters always tended to be "squishy" -- a technomancer
  • by GearType2 ( 614552 ) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @12:13PM (#15165561) []

    Honestly, I thought myself an avid RPer, being a fan of cyberpunk and D&D for the past few years. I've been to many a game store, but somehow never noticed *any* of their books: []
    ^Information on who they are, and what they sell^
    • Part of that is because their glory days were quite a long time ago. It seems bizarre to remember it now, but in the mid-to-late 80s there were dozens and dozens of commercial RPGs around. Even as a seriously hardcore roleplayer it was perfectly possible to encounter a published system you'd never heard of.

      Palladium made a pretty big impact back then by taking their truly awful system but applying it to some very well chosen material. Robotech was crying out for someone to do it. TMNT was at that time an
      • Chaos Earth was only published a few years ago, unless I missed something way back when. It does tell the tale of pre-Rifts Earth as it goes through the transformation, but Rifts came first by many years.
  • I don't know if anyone has ever seen a dream die before their eyes due to a mistake, my suggestion is to not be negative about his request for help. Asking for help is very very difficult, but at least he's visibly trying not to close shop vs. some game companies that just close doors and we never hear from them again.

    I never played Rifts, but I did play the earliest version of Mechanoids and their fantasy RPG (the first refreshing view of kobolds and orcs, pre-Blizzard).

    Anyways, it's a good deed to do if
    • Okay, I'll harsh on him for being a martinet, an incorrigible asshole, and being absolutely unsuited to the industry that he's been a limpet on for years.

      Take a good look at the core rules-- you know, the ones that change with every book, despite the claims that all of them use the same rulebase. Compare it to the D&D rewrites that you did when you were fifteen (everyone did it, so don't deny it). Notice any similarities? How about the sidelong rants about 'neutral alignments are stupid!' or the two

  • I never got into Rifts because what I saw of it just seemed a bit like a watered-down TORG [] with bad mechanics, but back in the day I played quite a bit of Palladium Fantasy RPG [], which was a lot like D&D but just different enough to attract me to it. In retrospect it really was just a cheap knock-off, but at the time I really enjoyed it.
  • Palladium bet on the wrong horse. I would have to guess that the company was doomed at about the point it became dependent upon a royalty revenue stream from a video game for its survival. This is a company with, what, 20+ years as an RPG publisher -- and incredibly prolific years, as well -- if you can't cut it with your primary business, which is publishing RPGs, then you're sunk.
    • I wouldn't say they bet on the wrong horse; after all, Nokia still is a market leader in phones. However, they DID bet too much on the wrong horse - that might definitely be the proverbial last straw.
  • Rifts (Score:2, Interesting)

    by labcoat ( 459521 )
    I played Rifts for a few years after it came out. True, the mechanics were fairly complicated, but that was half of the fun. The setting is something that would fit great in a MMORPG: a post-apocalyptic, dystopian, cyberpunk, western, fantasy setting.

    BTW: Jerry Bruckheimer was also in talks to make a movie set in the Rifts universe at one point.
    • Not only was there talk about a movie, but the NGage game wasn't even supposed to be the first Rifts game. There had been talk about Rifts being made into a video game for years and years, so long that I had assumed it would never happen. I was pretty surprised (and disappointed) to find out that after all this time it was coming to the NGage. The potential is there for a great MMORPG, though, I'll agree. But then, just how much room is there in the MMO market for another one, even if it does turn out to be
  • by fruitbane ( 454488 ) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @12:29PM (#15165723)
    Two things we needed to see in the post that make this Slashdot post misleading, all important items in the full article, are that:

    1.) Palladium is close to going out of business, but not out just yet.

    2.) Their primary reason for being on the brink appears to be embezzlement, or some related crime. Their real business isn't enough to overcome the loss incurred due to that legal trouble.

    I'm not a big RIFTS fan, but I'm all for responsible reporting.
  • by RexRhino ( 769423 ) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @12:29PM (#15165725)
    1. They are cheap and ugly. They are not hardcover bound books with full color pages. Look at a Paladium book, then look at a new D&D book, or at a White Wolf book, or whatever. The non-Paladium books are cool even if you don't play the game. If I am going to buy a product, I want the product to be high quality, and have an instant "cool" value. Printing a web page on your printer will give you as good production values as Paladium books. They didn't even lay out the books on computer. They used the old fashion past things to cardboard, take a photograph, make a plate from the photograph method of printing.

    2. The books would reprint lots of information. At least a third of the info in any book you could find in just about every other book. They definitly liked to recycle as much content as possible.

    3. All the settings were lame. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Yeah, OK. Rifts? "It is like D&D, but with Cyberpunk thrown in, but with Cthulhu thrown in, but with Vampires thrown in, but with Sci-Fi thrown in.."... no thank you. Ninjas and Super Spys? Uh.

    4. They had a terrible, hard to use game system.

    Sorry, a company making products that no-one likes will go out of buisness. Role playing games are already an extremly small niche product as it is... so there is no longer any room in the industry for people making crappy product. They could cut it in the 1980s, when expectations weren't that hight, and we were all 9 years old and didn't know any better. But the market is more competitive today, the expectations and production values are higher, and no-one is going to pay for that crap.
    • What are you talking about with the reprinting? Have you looked at D&D and White Wolf Lately??? The reprint much more content for nothing than Rifts ever did. Not to mention all the fluff books that get released by both game lines. Add on top of that the fact that both lines have released completely new verions of thier worlds some twice while Rifts has been constant. I would much rather pay 35.00 for a book that is meaty and worth while than the 40.00 for the pretty fluffy waste that is most White
    • I have to cry shenanigans on some of your commentary.

      They are cheap and ugly....If I am going to buy a product, I want the product to be high quality, and have an instant "cool" value.

      No gamer, you are. "Cool" is in the product, not the packaging. Sheesh. If you have to have "Ooooh, shiny" to appreciate it, well... i guess that's why "cool" rhymes with "tool".

      The books would reprint lots of information.

      Like every D20 game ever written.

      Rifts? "It is like D&D, but with Cyberpunk thrown in, but with

      • Gosh, that sounds like Shadowrun, the coolest product TSR ever came out with. I don't see the problem here.
        Just want to point out that it was FASA [] and not TSR. Credit where credit is due, after all...
        • Well, I just read something in that Shadowrun Wikiarticle that sucks:

          Video games for the Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, and in Japan only, the Sega Mega-CD have been created with entirely different story lines, although they all take place within the same Shadowrun universe.

          Damn you Sega, Damn you!!! Thanks for the "wonderful" games like Night Trap, INXS, and Double Switch but can we get Shadowrun CD []? Of course not... bastards!!!

          • Damn you Sega, Damn you!!! Thanks for the "wonderful" games like Night Trap, INXS, and Double Switch but can we get Shadowrun CD ? Of course not... bastards!!!

            *sobsobsob* It's based on the Genesis Shadowrun game! But a new story and enhancements! *sobsob* The Genesis Shadowrun was amazingly fun. *waaaaah*
            • Actually, from what I've seen of the Sega CD Shadowrun, it is VERY different from the Genesis version (which was one of my favourites). That was a good thing about the Shadowrun video games, you were getting a different one when you bought for each console.
            • Sometimes, when I'm playing Sega Genesis Shadowrun I just spend hours in front of the same rundown building, hacking networks and selling the stuff I find. It never gets boring. (Well, for me, anyway.)

              (Closest thing I've found to the Genesis Shadowrun in a modern PC-RPG is Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines but it is too linear.)

      • (note: this is "Redundant")

        Reiterating the other reply to the parent here

        SHADOWRUN = originally a FASA property (never TSR)
    • They are not hardcover bound books with full color pages.

      Meh. Hardbacks are nice, but I loathe color in RPGs. It's about as pointless as having a color dictionary. They're mostly text, and benefit little from color. I don't mind illustrations, but they should be of something useful, e.g. diagrams, rather than just being miscellaneous artwork. After all, when you're playing an RPG, you're mostly using your imagination. You don't need a picture book for that.

      It's pretty rare that color is useful in an RPG, an
    • If your trying to look cool buying RPG, your going to have to try a lot harder, no matter how nicely illustrated the book's cover is...

      I grew up role playing with TMNT - the rules were pretty complicated to the point that we had no idea what we were doing. In one instance we had characters where the stat bonuses were added directly to the stat to acheive some ugly numbers (80 STR on a first lvl character!!) But we figured out enough to make characters, resolve conflicts, use skills and have fun. The campa
    • Palladium's writers and artists have been troopers, waiting months to get paid, but their generosity is not enough.

      There was a running joke in my group about the Rainbow spell which was re-printed in just about every book that contained spells. I think they've fixed it since, but about 10 years ago the spell looked like this:

      Range: One mite (1.6 km).
      Duration: 15 minutes per level of the Warlock.
      Saving Throw: Standard.
      P.P.E.: Sixty
      The Warlock creates a rainbow extraordinary in its prismatic color
  • Why don't they port this mysterious N-Gage game to another system? Depending on how it was written, this might be more than a small task, but if it means the difference between going under or staying afloat as a company, its got to be worth it. I mean they seem to indicate a major reason their going under is that this game was a flop, and that it was only a flop because the N-Gage was a flop. If the game is so great, they should port it to PSP, DS, or even a console or PC. Or why not just sell this "great"
    • It's probably in the publishing deal that Nokia had sole rights to the title- and they might be eying publishing it for a slightly better thought out smartphone model (It appears they're toying with this thinking with newer phone models...) and won't let them out of the contract to republish it elsewhere on other consoles. Even IF they did repackage it for a new phone model, it's not going to happen QUITE in a timeframe that Palladium could immediately benefit from it- and it sounds like they need help NOW
  • Yep, I questioned myself too back in my gamer days: Who buys Palladium stuff anyway? Good game worlds and ideas, but their lawyer-happy attitude back in the early 90's caught a sour note with many gamers. Funny to think that back in the pre-Magic days, Wizards of the Coast were almost shut down because of a lawsuit from Palladium Games. They also sent a lawyergram to White Wolf because of articles they were writing that included stats and thoughts about Palladium material. In short - Palladium wanted co
    • They still are like this. They have a good crew, and the writing overall is good (though everytime I bought a book I felt like getting a red pen to tag all of the errors and sending it to them for corrections in the next printing), but Kevin's insistence on keeping 100% control over everything really hurt. Want to make a character generator? Sorry. Can't do that. Want to mention core characters (Erin Tarn, Emperor Prosek, etc)? You're treading a fine line. Want to even discuss a method to port to ano
      • Yea I grabbed that and dumped the access files into a MySQL database and started writing a modperl frontend. It was really more or less just my play area to learn perl and I rewrote it several times just to try diffrent technics. I'd have to dig it up but if anyone wants it let me know. I'm not much of a coder so I'd actually like some constructive critisism on what I did do.

      • They still are like this. They have a good crew, and the writing overall is good (though everytime I bought a book I felt like getting a red pen to tag all of the errors and sending it to them for corrections in the next printing), but Kevin's insistence on keeping 100% control over everything really hurt. Want to make a character generator? Sorry. Can't do that. Want to mention core characters (Erin Tarn, Emperor Prosek, etc)? You're treading a fine line. Want to even discuss a method to port to another s

        • Maryann left Palladium sometime before the divorce, so that's not an issue. Whether Kevin has them is another story. I suspect you're right in that the reason that they haven't gone after them is solely because they don't have the Robotech licenses anymore.

          The Rifts world is fantastic, but the system has to get cleaned up. First of all, there are continuity errors about some significant areas (major human settlements existing where Xiticix have allegedly swept the area clean), and second, the combat syst
  • Did you really not at least *think* this would be the outcome? Seriously, I can't see how anyone would put all of their eggs in one basket all riding on the N-Gauge. I feel bad that in business there are winners and losers, and that more often than not the losers have some of the best ideas and creativity... but that is life. If the talent is there and the desire, pick yourself up by the bootstraps and re-invent yourself, not by selling overpriced prints to hang on by a unraveling thread. No sense in chasin
    • They didn't put all their eggs in one basket. There's a possible movie deal out there and it'll be exclusively available on PSP UMD.
    • It wasn't the N-Gauge game, it was having ~$1,000,000 stolen. From the letter, it seems to me that they're just trying to get enough cash to last until their legal issues can be resolved.
    • RTFA. While the N-Gage game's failure didn't help, it sounds like it didn't hurt their bottom line, either. It was embezzlement that killed them.

      If I could find it anywhere, I actually would buy the N-Gage game. I got an N-Gage because it was free, and it was a decent smartphone that can sync with a Mac. I have never bought any games for it, though. When I heard about Rifts being made for it, I've been trying to find it locally, but it looks like I won't be able to.
      • You're in luck! I found this [] for you, but since I don't own an NGage and have never bought from them (Britain is a long way from here), I cannot guarantee that they're reputable.
  • Palladium... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by aapold ( 753705 ) * on Thursday April 20, 2006 @01:03PM (#15166082) Homepage Journal
    I bought a lot of their stuff over the years. I ran a palladium fantasy RPG game in the early 90s, then Rifts later on, as well as some Robotech, TMNT and so on. The settings were cool. The differnt types of magic (especially circles and wards) were very cool. HOwever, as many have noted, the mechanics were not. They were on par with 2nd edition D&D, but 3rd edition was clearly superior. I did like their XP system, and still use some facets of that in other games i run. At some point the Rifts world books (of which there are a ton) seemed like each one was trying to top the previous, to the point of extremes. I think when Atlantis came out they described a creature that lives at the bottom of the sea in the Pacific with tentatcles long enough to reach around south america, up the atlantic, and slap someone in england, I knew it was getting out of control. I haven't bought one of their books in half a dozen years, but didn't see anything to suggest that trend hadn't continued... In just about every case I found other game systems and mechanics I preferred to Palladium's, and have moved on. Still, I have some fondness for the good times I had with their games, and hope they pull through. I still remember their sourcebook that had homosexuality as a possible result on the "insanity" chart. (that's right, due to a failed saving throw, you are now....) Later prints had a sticker covering that up and replacing it with another insanity, and later reprintings finally changed it. sigh... can't help but chuckle...
    • To this day, running Rolemaster campaigns, I have players roll for random sexual orientation because of that clause in the Palladium books. We've had some good laughs and nice role-playing moments from that (like the campaign where the only female character was a lesbian and all the males heterosexual).
      • Oddly enough, my last gaming group was that way -- only it was the players. The only girl was a lesbian, and all of the males in the group hetero and wishing strongly that she'd look over the fence.
  • While I retired from gaming a long time ago, so much of my early teens were spent playing Palladium games (almost all of them, with Ninjas and Superspies being my favorite)

    I can remember spending hours reading the books, because the stories were so good - intriguing, with engaging stories, varied themes, etc.

    It would be nice to see a company with a well-developed game system like White Wolf take over the company and adapt the worlds to their game system.

    On the other hand, if it weren't for Palladiu
  • ngpage.htm?depId=1&pgId=154 [] has the Rifts game for the N-Gage for $24.99 last I looked.
  • I played a bit of Rifts back in high school with my friends. Sure, the game mechanics were terrible, but next to A D&D 2nd Ed it didn't seem quite so bad. Once 3rd Ed and the d20 system came out though, my rifts playing days were numbered. While Rifts has perhaps the richest setting I've ever used, it's no good if you have to spend an hour rolling dice and cross referencing charts to kill a single guard. The fact that play balance was out of control (one player could be playing a cyber medic and ano
  • It doesn't help that the role-playing game industry is in a slump and going through a transitional phase.

    Hmm, 'transitional phase'?

    * Moment of Death:
    1} The heart stops
    2} The skin gets tight and grey in color
    3} All the muscles relax
    4} The bladder and bowels empty
    . .
  • I'm a veteran Rifts GM and I'd welcome a Rifts MMORPG. The gmae is awesome, has fantastical interdimensional settings, anime-style mecha, magic, demons, aliens, vampires, insane psychics, and mutants! Perhaps they should start opening a dialogue with Wizards of the Coast.
  • by rubberbando ( 784342 ) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @03:26PM (#15167504)
    Then they could re-release all those great books / worlds to be compatable with 3rd edition AD&D thus giving us the best of both worlds. :D
  • I was a major Palladium fan for a very long time. The first RPG I ever played wasn't D&D, but their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles RPG.

    The real problems came when they started throwing everything including the kitchen sink into their new sourcebooks for just about every game. Rifts was really a groundbreaking and thrilling RPG until it started ranging WAY farther afield, and the world started looking like a GURPS campaign where every single published sourcebook was part of the game world. Too much conf
  • Palladium was the first RPG system I ever played. TMNT, Ninjas and Superspies, Robotech, and Heros Unlimited were all great games. I may have drifted from it later on in favor of non-leveled systems that I thought were more "realistic", but I've since gone back to games like d20 and HackMaster, so I'll be visiting Palladium again real soon.

    I also do an RPG webcomic called Fuzzy Knights ( [] ), and this situation moved me enough that Friday's strip is going to be about the Palladi
  • Systemically, Palladium was in the stone age. As other posters have said, Kevin Siembieda (and also Eric Wuijck, creator of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Ninjas and Superspies) created some truly interesting worlds, particularly RIFTS. But his games were hobbled by mechanics that closely resembled those of 1st edition AD&D (which the Palladium (fantasy) RPG was a direct rip-off of) and never really improved much. The skill system was broken, the leveling system was broken, and combat was intermitably
    • You know, if this was just about bad management and the company going under for normal reasons, I might agree. Lots of game companies go under, that's life.

      But to me this is different, because what dealt the near-death blow was a betrayal of trust, and embezzelment. That's just not right.

      RPGs have never been a lucrative business. Most companies are lucky to make a profit and even if you prosper you're probably never going to be rich. You don't publish RPGs to beomce rich, you do it because you love the

"I have not the slightest confidence in 'spiritual manifestations.'" -- Robert G. Ingersoll