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Converting RIFTS to HERO

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Having had cause recently to search the Old Forum threads for the previous substantial threads on converting from RIFTS, I thought it might be useful to post them here for people interested in using some of that idea-rich but system-clunky Siembieda material. These threads include quite a few conversions of tech, character types, packages, concepts etc. Aside from a few minor differences between 4th and 5th Ed. HERO, they're readily usable.


Hope you enjoy. :)



Detailed discussion of various RIFTS game mechanics, conversion guidelines and examples, and writeups for several character classes:




Weapon Damage Class conversions, and writeups for Coalition weaponry and armor, and ley-line magic:


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  • 3 weeks later...

i've found it easier to convert RIFTs to Fuzion or Action, then to Hero itself...


Fuzion has some Rifts like stats - Kills = MDC, HIts = SDC+HP

and with games like BGC2032, it helps make the Powerarmor conversion faster...


Then you just take Fuzion, which can be easily converted over to Hero, and convert it...


The main beef i have with Palladium's system nowadays, is the Exp Levels, and % for Skills, and level up stuff...The Rest of Palladium's system is easy to learn and enjoy the game.

If Palladium was to change over to a system like Fuzion or Action, i'd be happy indeed. But Hero gets too crunchy adding in this and subracting this, instead of having things simplified for convience. As i said, my beef with Rifts deals with the exp/levels/skills parts of their system, not the rest. Though the Rifts Attributes section could use an overhaul too, but its not the headach aspect of the system.


As for game balance...i enjoy No Game balance myself, systems which force game balance upon the system itself, just isnt filling a needed nitch...Is Hero5th Game balanced, Yes and No...its all depends on the gaming group, and story needs doesnt it. Rifts is more like Real Life, in that all things isnt fair, or balanced...ok, i'll stop.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Rifts Seconary Vampire


Note: While not immune to normal attacks, He is able to ignore most of them. Any suggestions appreciated.


Name: Rifts Vampire (Secondary)


Val Char Cost

25 STR 20

18 DEX 24

18 CON 16

10/25 BODY 0

13 INT 3

14 EGO 8

15 PRE 5

14 COM 2

10 PD 7

10 ED 8

4 SPD 12

9 REC 0

36 END 0

47 STUN 0


Characteristic Rolls: STR: 14-, DEX: 13-, CON: 13-, INT: 12-, EGO: 12-, PER: 12-

Run: 6/7", Swim: 2", Jump: 5", Lift: 800kg


Cost Powers END/Roll

168 Vampire Powers

(20) Regeneration (4 BODY/Turn); Regenerate: Standard, +0; Not against Wood, Sunlight, Running Water, Holy Items, Silver, and Fire (while Staked): -1

(5) Regeneration (1 BODY/hour); Regenerate: Standard, +0; May Not Regenerate if in Sun or Staked: -¼

(30) Damage Reduction (Physical, 75% Resistant); Not against Wood, Sunlight, Running Water, Holy Items, Silver, and Fire (while Staked): -1

(15) Damage Reduction (Energy, 50% Resistant); Not against Wood, Sunlight, Running Water, Holy Items, Silver, and Fire (while Staked): -1

(2) Damage Resistance (5 PD/5 ED); Not against Wood, Sunlight, Running Water, Holy Items, Silver, and Fire (while Staked): -1

(3) Immune to Aging

(10) Need Not Breathe

(15) Doesn't Bleed

(20) +15 BODY; Not against stake in heart, having head severed, or another Vampire.: -½

(7) Mind Link (thralls/his own Vampires); Minds: Related Group, +10; Number of Minds: 1, +0; Distance: Single Planet, +0; Dimension: Current, +0; Link with: Anyone, +0; Limited to Summoning Mostly: -½

(7) +15 PRE; Offense Only (Horror): -1

(10) 1d6 Bite: Killing Attack (HTH) (Total 2d6); Range: 0; No Knockback: -¼; Restrainable: -¼ 1

(10) Sense Blood (+0 to PER); Time Required: Instant, +2; Range: Ranged, +5

(5) Ultraviolet Vision

(2) Running (+1", 7", NC: 14"); Non-Combat Multiplier: ×2, +0; Non-Combat (MPH): 3 1

(7) Multiform: Bat/Mist/Wolf; Form: Second, ×2; Works only Out of Sunlight: -½

Bat: Sonar, - 4 Per, +4 DCV, +6KB, and Flight 15"

Wolf: Running 14" +1 Spd

Mist: Desoldification (may not pass through solid objects) only 3" run

37 Vampire Powers: Multipower (37-pt reserve)

More powerful Vampires will have 8, 10 or even 12d6 Mental Powers

u-3 6d6 Hypnotic Gaze: Mind Control; Communication: Telepathic, +¼; Requires eye contact unless his own Thrall/Vampire: -¼ 4

u-3 6d6 Mind Scan; Attack Roll Bonus: 3, 6; Number of Minds: 100,000; Only against his own Thrall/Vampire: -½ 4

u-4 2d6 Transform Thall/Vampire (Major, Limited Class); Range: 185 4

u-2 6d6 Telepathy; Only against his own Thrall/ or a Vampire: -½ 3

u-2 Mental Defense (38 pts); Add to Total; Not against his own Sire and Elders or Ego Attacks/'Mental Illusions: -½

u-3 MV Fog: Darkness (Normal Sight, 3" radius); Range: 150 3

u-4 MV: Summon Vermin (1 0-point creatures); Range: 0; Summon: Limited Group, +¼ 4


Cost Skills, Talents, Perks Roll

3 Stealth 13-

1 Area Knowledge 8-

2 Professional Skill 11-

6 +2 level w/Bite: 3 Maneuvers


150+ Disadvantages

10 Distinctive Features Red Eyes when using Powers/Hungry/Enraged; Concealability: Easily, 5; Reaction: Always noticed & major reaction, +5

10 Distinctive Features: Low Body Heat; Concealability: Easily, 5; Reaction: Always noticed & major reaction, +5

25 Hunted by Vampire Hunters (14-); Capabilities: As Powerful, 10; Non-combat Influence: Extensive, +5; Geographical Area: Unlimited, -0; Actions: Hunting, ×1; Punishment: Harsh, 0

5 Watched by Elders (8-); Capabilities: More Powerful, 15; Non-combat Influence: None, +0; Geographical Area: Limited, -5; Only Watching: ×½; Punishment: Harsh, 0

10 Phys. Lim. cannot enter a human home without an invitation (Infrequently, Greatly)

10 Phys. Lim. Cannot cross running water even by flight (must use bridge) (Infrequently, Greatly)

20 Phys. Lim. Frozen if Staked in Heart (Frequently, Fully)

10 Susceptibility to holy items (1d6 STUN/Turn); Condition: Uncommon, +5

35 Susceptibility: to sunlight (3d6 STUN/Phase); Condition: Very Common, +15

10 Vulnerability Mind Powers of Sires (2× STUN); Attack: Uncommon, +5

15 Overconfidence/Evil Predator (Very Common, Moderate)

10 Disdainful of Technology (Uncommon, Strong)

8 Enraged if very Hungry (14-, 14-); Circumstances: Uncommon, +5

10 Reputation Vampire (8-, Extreme)


OCV: 6; DCV: 6; ECV: 5; Mental Def.: 38; Phases: 3, 6, 9, 12

PD/rPD: 10/5; ED/rED: 10/5


Costs: Char.: 105 Disad.: 188

Powers: + 235 Base: + 150

Total: = 340 Total: = 338


Background: Wild Vampire: Total drop Presence by 5, Drop Int by 5, Ego by 3, Com by 3 and increase speed by 1, increase Running to 9", and increase Offensive PRE by 10. Also remove no knock back from Bite (now has claws)



Master Vampire: Increase Strength by 10, Con by 5, Dex by 5, PD by 5, ED by 5, Speed by 2, Multipower by 25 and Bite levels by 4

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  • 6 months later...
  • 3 weeks later...

My only contribution to the Rifts to Hero conversion discussion was an idea for handling Mega damage.


Basically, mega damage was to killing damage what killing damage is to STUN. Mega damage structures would have Mega defenses. Killing attacks against Mega resistant targets would count the BODY like you would for a penetrating attack and would subtract the Mega defenses. Alternately, you could say that regular KAs couldn't hurt mega structures at all.


Now, when a mega damage attack (we'll call them MAs) hits a normal target, you can either roll a KA multiplier (like a STUN multiplier) or just go with a x3 multiplier. So, a 2d6 MA would do 7 Mega damage, 21 killing BODY, and 63 STUN. Since a normal target doesn't have Mega BODY, consider any target without mega defenses to have NO defenses against the 21 BODY. You could give living targets their normal defenses against the 63 STUN. If you want to be nastier, let them use their resistant defenses only against the STUN


An unarmored normal would be instantly killed. Even a hero in resitant armor would likely die of the injuries. Someone in fancy high-tech mega defensive armor (let's say 6 MD, 20 rPD/rED, +20 PD/ED) would take 7 point of Mega damage, 21 points of killing BODY, and 63 STUN. It's a bit clunky, again, since normal targets don't have mega-body: You'd subtract the MD from the MA, taking 1 point of MD, which would become 3 points of BODY. Then the resistant defenses would stop all but 1 point of killing BODY, inflicting another point. And lastly, subtract the 20 PD/ED and 20 rPD/rED (did I mention the armor had additional regular defenses to cushion mega blasts?) to take 23 STUN (minus their personal PD/ED).


As for knockback, I'd likely go with counting the BODY on the mega attack roll, not using the killing body. That would get rediculous pretty fast.


You would want to adjust the limits to fit your campaign. If you want mega-attacks to be really scary, make sure they can at least be knocked out easily from the attacks. The nice thing about this system as compared to the mega-damage system in Rifts is that even if the mega-damage armor saves you from being vaporized, you can still be taken out or hurt pretty bad from a mega-attack.



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As a setting


Rifts is really great for HERO. The whole "cross-genre" thing would show how HERO shines with its mechanics.


Obviously, you've got Fantasy & Science Fiction elements which would be tackled by Fantasy Hero and Star Hero. Some of the more over-the-top elements can swing you into Champions territory.


And with all the Mecha running around... you've got a place for a lot of the Vehicles rules.


Hell, bases would rule as well... I'd love to see the ARCHIE complex detailed.


As for Martial Arts, well... perhaps in the cities like Chi-town and some of the areas like Rifts China and Japan. But these approach and exceed the StreetFighter levels already and dip back into Champions territory.

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Originally posted by Rick

Why convert "mega-Damage" at all. THose would translate as really big KA's. Don't convert the system, tanslate the source material into hero terms.


Well, it's just an idea at this point. I haven't tried it out. The only reason I'd suggest it (I never liked the MDC system much myself- it got kinda crazy with personal weapons and armor, and any cyborg doing MDC punches.) is because some people really liked the feel of damage that was on a whole different scale than the kind you do with knives and bullets.


Yeah, I'd probably just make them large KAs too.



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The Palladium system gives reasonable jump-off for duplicating this stuff...you know how a LAW Rocket compares to a Wilk's Laser Pistol, compares to a tank, and HERO has all but the Wilk's. Using the Wilk's as a base (3d6 RKA, 2xAP for +1), just add more damage classes for additional d6's of RIFTS damage.

To translate the feel of the megadamage armor, I made the low end about 10 Def, double-hardened, with extra def only vs Stun, and extra Bod so you have to chip the armor off. More powerful armor has higher Stun Def and Bod, not regular Def. Of course, someone in a suit of non-mega-armor (say, 8 Def, hardened) will get large holes blown in it by a Wilk's.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The only thing I did for my Paladium (mostly Heroes Unlimited) translations to Hero (which were pretty arbitrary indeed) was give the various types of Strength a HERO increase.


Extrordinary STR +5

Superhuman (Robot?) STR +10 1/2 End

Supernatural STR +15 0 ENd

Basically; The lifting weight doubles when you go from Normal to Extrordinary to Superhuman to Supernatural. The Reduced Endurance was on the additional Strength only.


Also; most "Supernatural Creatures" had Damage Reduction 75% that didn't work against Superhuman or Supernatural Strength, and 50% DR that didn't work against Supernatural Strength (Or normal as it was reduced by 75%)


The various Strengths were bought as powers in addition to the normal Characteristic.

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  • 5 years later...

Re: Converting RIFTS to HERO


So, has anyone had any ideas on how to convert or translate the other Pally games like Beyond the Supernatural and Nightbane? Also, I think it'd be interesting to put together a timeline for a Rifts Earth continuum. The way they talk about the time before the setting sounds like it'd be an interesting campaign in itself.

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Re: Converting RIFTS to HERO


The Chaos Earth game has a lot of information on that period' date=' it is set just after the Coming of the Rifts.[/quote']


Yeah, I have the books. I was thinking more of a setting that basically depicted the Golden Age they were talking about. I was thinking about this, they have several time periods going on. The first being right around now (2001 to 2028) where politics and such were right about where they are now. Then came the Golden Age, Then came the Second Cold War, then the Great Cataclysm and I'm thinking we all know how it goes from there.


Another consideration, would it just be a Near Future SF setting? I'm thinking there'd Possibly be some superhero activity, maybe a bit of Urban Fantasy w/ DC thrown in...(BtS, NB remnants), and maybe even some TMNT type stuff in the mix (later into that period they were creating mutant animals.)


I'm just saying that the period before Chaos Earth seems to have alot of potential. (I know I left out alot of stuff, but I wasn't trying to cover what everyone already knows about).

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Re: Converting RIFTS to HERO


That was the case in PB, though that doesn't mean that need be the case with any "derivative" works. It was just a consideration that I wanted to throw out there. If you wanted to make things interesting, consider the relations between organizations such as PRIMUS and UNTIL to those like SCRET and NEMA. Then again, I have this "insane" idea of meshing the material from both systems together (in HERO rules of course). A little too ambitious?


As for the supers stuff, I think it'd just be interesting to have them in there, though to be totally honest the REALLY fun way is to have the supers start their careers just before the Cataclysm...:eg:


All that considered though, I wasn't suggesting that the Pre-Rifts be supplanted by supers, just throw a few of them in. (I'd imagine their numbers would be somewhat in decline around that time.)

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  • 1 year later...

Re: Converting RIFTS to HERO


I tried converting a Heroes Unlimited character to Champions 4th edition rules. He's Constitution, from The Sentinels of Liberty and Justice (as seen in the add on book Villains Unlimited).




Constitution is a mutant in a US government patriotic themed super hero team. He's big and tough, with growth powers, be he's also surprisingly quick and agile, superhumanly so.


I based his abilities on trying to translate into real world numbers and stats where possible.


For instance his SPD of 6 is based on the fact that he can make 8 attacks per melee in the Palladium rules, but their melee rounds are 15 seconds, were a Hero turn in 12 seconds. So I figured 8 attacks in 15 seconds is about 6 attacks in 12 seconds. The 19 inches of running is also based on the Palladium Speed attribute, which says Speed x20 is number of meters you can run in one minute, which took some math, but came to 19 inches of running!


His basic STR was based on taking his normal sized P.S. and translating that to pounds he could lift, then to STR. P.S. 34 ended up being a STR 30. However, I let his STR increase as normal Growth, so he quickly became MUCH stronger, as Hero STR increases geometrically, where Palladium P.S. increases in a linear fashion.


I let his IQ and PB become is INT and COM. ME became EGO. MA became PRE. PP became DEX, PE became CON.


Other stuff I had to just read his powers, like having Enhanced Physical Endurance and Healing Factor meant that he basically NEVER tires, ever, so I bought all his powers, movement and STR to 0 END. He still sleeps, but Constitution can be working at full strength from the moment he wakes until he goes to bed again without being tired.


I tried to find skills that matched skills from Champions - for instance Advanced Mathematics became Science: Mathematics, First Aid became Paramedic, Prowl became Stealth. Since Heroes Unlimited growth gives you bonuses to SDC, running and horror factor, I linked some extra running, armor and Presence to his Growth. One of his powers gave him half damage from all heat and cold attacks, so he got Damage Reduction. Most of the Disadvantages had to be figured by just reading about his personality, history and alignment.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Re: Converting RIFTS to HERO


Does anyone have a suggestion on how to handle invisibility and "see the invisible" from Rifts? Invisibility is easy enough, buy a common power many races have is "see the invisible." Is that a sense of invisible things? Armor Piercing on the sight sense? Something else?

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Re: Converting RIFTS to HERO


"See the Invisible" is an Enhanced Sense. Unless it is based on one of the other senses besides sight, it is generally considered to be a "Special Sense" which means that one cannot take Invisibility to a "Sense Group" that works against See the Invisible, they would have to purchase Invisibility to See the Invisible itself, which in most cases the GM should disallow.

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Re: Converting RIFTS to HERO


I know I'm resurrecting an old conversation, but I felt that while the home dimension of RIFTS Earth was that of Beyond the Supernatural (which I played before RIFTS came out) and Ninjas and Superspies (most likely), areas of RIFTS Earth D-shifted in such a way that the Earth was composed of parts from multiple alternate realities...so part of RIFTS Earth is from Beyond the Supernatural, part is from Ninjas and Superspies, part is from Heroes Unlimited, part could be from Robotech etc.


The coming of the RIFTS screwed everything up...and RIFTS Earth is now a Nexus world, caught in-between dimensions and alternate realities.

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