Savage Rifts

Savage Rifts Background Story (First Post)

Savage Rifts

Background details.

105 P.A. Coalition States (CS) Tolkeen War / GM: Dan Frederick

An Introduction: Letters from the Tolkeen Front

Tactical Report 00132

Major Jan Yoblonksy

Intel Division, Squad Leader Observation Team Three

Operation First Strike: Video report 00132 — October 11, 105 P.A.

“I regret to say, there’s not much to report. At 0500 hours, CS forces unleashed a volley of low yield nuclear missiles at the enemy as a preemptive strike. Approximately five minutes before zero hour, the ley lines around the city exhibited increased activity, seeming to pulse and throb with light.”

“Moments before the strike, an electrical discharge began to crackle in arcs that created a massive spherical shape around both the City of Tolkeen and the City of Dragons across the river. A moment later, three flares of blue and white light burst upward like a pillar of energy shooting maybe a mile into the sky.”

“We could see a massive Rift open up at each of the three locations, all places where two or more ley lines intersected. The one viewed from our vantage point swallowed what we estimate to have been 30 missiles. They simply rocketed into the maw of energy and vanished.”

“I assume the other two Rifts similarly disposed of our missile assault. Team IDO-3 reported from their observation point what may have been as many as a dozen missiles missing the Rifts, but they appeared to have been intercepted and neutralized or contained by unidentified energies and forces. At least two impacted on the energy field that encircled the twin cities but with no tangible effect.”

“Approximately 72 seconds later, the turbulence of crackling energy was gone and the ley lines assumed their normal appearance. One would never suspect an event had occurred.”

“Corresponding video confirmation will substantiate this report.”

“Assessment. Point: Further missile bombardment was ineffective, with less than 10% percent of missile yield reaching target and less than 1% seeming to penetrate the enemy defensive field. Regrettably, while some explosions seemed to be identified under the defense field, it was impossible to determine damage. If any it was minimal.”

“Point: Enemy defense system unknown, although it clearly utilizes magic and some previously unseen dimensional, portal defense system.”

“Point: Enemy may have some sort of early warning system of unknown origin. How else could they have anticipated and countered our attack? The only alternative is a Tolkeen mole or other leak within the Coalition Army. Suggest investigation.”

“Point: Enemy continues to display resources beyond our understanding.”

“Suggestion: Conduct advanced ground invasion primarily using Skelebots, Dog Packs, and Mercenaries with mounting intensity to test the enemy and assess their strength and resources.”

“Evaluation: Enemy is highly unpredictable and dangerous despite their small numbers and seemingly low level of technology compared to CS forces. Any offensive assault will be hard fought and met with great resistance. Anticipate high CS casualties.”

“An all-out ground and air offensive that contains and slowly whittles down the enemy is the only viable option that I see. Said recommendation means a war that could last 3-5 years; two years minimum. However, CS forces should win from weight of sheer numbers, technological superiority and purity of purpose.”

“Major Jan Yoblonksy, Intel Division, reporting.”
An Introduction: Meeting with the Tolkeen King

The Defense of Tolkeen — October 11, 105 P.A.

King Robert Creed stood silently in the Royal City gardens. At the age of 53 he was proud to be a Tolkeenite and ruler of the City for 20 plus years. The gardens had been his favorite place to visit as a young child, they still were. His bygone days of youth seemed so distant, along with the carefree and fun days of rule. His thoughts were troubled by the Coalition States. Had Tolkeen been located a few hundred, or a thousand miles further away from the technological warriors of the CS Empire there may never have been an impending war. The fact was, Tolkeen and her magical ways were too close to the CS for an inevitable war to not erupt.

Only moments ago the forces of the Coalition had fired a nuclear attack at the city. This part of the Royal garden was always beneath a clear magic dome. Now a massive magical dome stood over the entire city. Watching as the intersecting Ley Lines were utilized by several members of the Council of Twelve to send the incoming missiles away from the city via opened rifts the King smiled then turned around. The general populace of the city did not know it but the ancient and magical artifact, Yorik, had been used by the council to learn of the attack in advance. They had been ready. The missiles stopped. King Creed sighed knowing that as the population celebrated the CS would be mounting a land based army to attack the city soon enough.

The wizard king looked at the other man in the garden. A grizzled, older man, with his face hidden beneath a wide brim Stetson hat with long black and greying hair. He was human. A human dimensional traveler not from Earth. A dark shadowy man with a low hung gunslingers pistol on his right leg. One of the defenders of the city. A Legionnaire of Tolkeen. The last surviving member of the Odd Squad.

“As your late squad discovered, the CS is coming. They will stop at nothing to destroy our city. I want to rebuild the Odd Squad.”

The King sighed and looked back up into the sky and asked the off world gunslinger, “Do you ever think about your home world Anton?”

After a long moment in which the king thought the man would not answer, the gunslinger stated: “Do I remember the world I came from or how I got here? I can recall I made my way through the dragons grave. I can recall the shadow of an old hawk, of bygone days of youth. I often remember a wizard’s tower. A man I chased. I remember a door. I fought a demon in man’s skin, though I know not if I won. My memories of my lost home are hazy. What I do know is even though I am not from this world, I now call it my own. The men and women of the City State of Tolkeen, you King Creed, took me in. I will defend all in this city with my life. I stand with the Legion. I will defend them with my six-guns. I stand with Tolkeen.”

The King smiled.

“Tolkeen thanks you. I thank you. This war is going to be hell but we will prevail. Magic verses the evil technology of the Coalition.”

“Yes my liege. I have a few individuals whom I will be asking to reform the odd Squad. By your leave I will seek them out now and work on rebuilding my team. There is little time to waste, especially if you want the artifact Yorik recovered.”

The king nodded as the gunslinger turned to leave.

Opening Day Information
Savage Rifts

Rifts, the Odd Squad:

I would love to see you all pick either characters from the Rifts universe or bring characters into the game from OSRIC, Dungeons and Dragons, RUNEQUEST, Call of Cthulhu, Star Wars, or nearly ANY SYSTEM.

Rifts characters are totally fine and I’d like to show you each more options from the dozens of Rifts books. You might decide to play a Rifts Cyber Knight, a Rifts Crazie, or any Rifts character from Earth or from the huge list of off world characters, or you might play a Star Wars Wookie Smuggler, or a CoC Paranormal Investigator, maybe an OSRIC Mage?

No matter what Game System I will convert the character to Savage Rifts so that you can …play your Duck Mage from Runequest in Rifts. The whole concept of Rifts is that many worlds are accessible via the Rifts. I think pulling characters from another game system in to Rifts would be fun! Your fav D&D or fav Star Wars character ect.

I will start the game in the magic city of Tolkeen, forming the Party into a team called: Order of Dimensional Delvers (OoDD) – simply known as the Odd Squad.

Most of the members of Odd came to Rifts Earth following some strange event in their lives, and now they are banded together to survive, and to seek new purpose in this world full of dangers and horrors beyond even their original imagining. With the combination of their unique set of skills and experiences, they are hired by the City of Tolkeen (enemies of the Coalition States) and designated the Odd Squad.

Odd Squad is one of Tolkeen’s go-to troubleshooting teams, so when a new danger from the Rifts rears its head in Tolkeen, or the Magic Zone, or Coalition patrols too close to the city it’s these veteran heroes from wars and trials untold who are sent forth to investigate and, if necessary, do battle once more. With the profits talking of Untold Horrors of Hells on Earth and the coming CS-Tolkeen War heroes are needed.

OoDD or Odd was until recently comprised of the following members, before a brutal run in with Coalition States (CS) troops of Psi Battalion: Anton the Gunslinger of the Deadlands Universe. Tobias the Lizard Man Sorcerer of Fifth Ed D&D Universe. Casey the Brave of Dead Reign Earth Universe. Magnus the Changer, a Nightspawn of the Nightlands Universe. Lars Severin the Legionnaire of Savage Rome Universe. Captain Eric Shultz the Odd Squad Leader originally of the Savage WWII Universe.

After a brutal assault on Odd only the Gunslinger of the Weird West, who has lived on Rifts Earth for a year now, named Anton lived, badly wounded but still alive. King Creed, ruler of the City of Tolkeen, is rebuilding the Odd Squad. Odd will be rebuilt over and over and eventually will have your characters as members!

As the Odd Squad you will assist the City of Tolkeen both in the city, out across the old North American states and even beyond, on and off Rifts Earth!

The City of Tolkeen


City of magic.

City of dreams.

This is the closest city you will encounter (those of you from alternative game universes).

Here is some details on the city;

Known for its splendor, openness, tolerance and high ideals. A place of knowledge and learning. A golden pinnacle of human and D-Bee achievement in a world where all too often there is ugliness and destruction. Or so it has been, now the close neighbors, the Coalition is provoking war.

Population Stats for Tolkeen

Total Population during Peacetime: Approximately 890,000.

Wartime will bring: 1.3 million (estimated). The peacetime numbers will swell to well over a million humans and D-Bees by the time of the final siege. Most of the additional population are refugees. This number does not include the 90,000+ “monsters” which will be summoned or manipulated to fight on the kingdom’s behalf, nor the remaining mercenaries and volunteers who fight for Tolkeen but actually reside outside the kingdom.

Peacetime Population Breakdown:

480,000 Humans
400,000 D-Bees
10,000 Other (Gargoyles, Brodkil, etc.; included about 100 or so Dragons; 90% Hatchlings)
Note: The “other” category will increase by at least tenfold with the advent of war and the recruitment of the Daemonix and other supernatural and monstrous “allies.” These numbers do not include slaves and animals used in the war. While Tolkeen once condemned slavery, there are a number of demonic beings, Elementals and others “forced” into service that would be considered slaves by most civilized nations. Although these numbers are low, there will be at least ten thousand.

Peacetime Breakdown by General O.C.C.:

6% Ley Line Walkers
5% Techno-Wizards
5% Warlocks
5% Other Practitioners of Magic
8% Psychic.
34% Scholars, Scientists, Educators, and other skilled occupations.
10% Men at Arms/Warriors (various)
27% Other

City Overview

The City of Tolkeen is like something out of a book of fairy-tales. It is surrounded by an old defensive wall of stone 40 feet (12 m) tall and 15 feet (4.6 m) thick, but the hundred year
old edifice is dwarfed by the megalithic towers, archways and buildings that have grown up behind it. Tolkeen is built upon the ruins of pre-Rifts Minneapolis. Where skyscrapers once stood are great domed citadels and towers of stone and magic that surpass anything that came before. The average building stands 400 feet (122 m) tall, but they sit in the shadow of others that reach 600-800 feet (183 to 244 m). Gargoyles (some carved, some real) peer down from the rooftops, and flying chariots, dragons and winged creatures take flight overhead. On the streets below walk wondrous creatures from a dozen worlds intermingling with humans; all equal among equals.

The City of Tolkeen (and to a lesser degree, Magestock) is a sprawling, modern metropolis built and powered by both conventional technology and magic. Domes, towers and pyramids of varying sizes, styles and designs are among its most dominant features. Scale of size is predominantly human, however, there are places clearly built to accommodate giants and dragons.

Tolkeen is roughly half human and half D-Bee, so most humanoid races feel comfortable here, as do those of greater size and strange appearance. Although Tolkeenites have come to loathe the CS, they remain open (some would say too open) to all manner of other nonhuman life forms, including demons and other wicked creatures that do not deserve their acceptance or generosity.

Ironically, the coming Coalition’s war on the kingdom will turn the city more into a haven for true monsters than Tolkeen ever was before, making the Coalition’s fears a self-fullfiling prophecy.

For the most part, the tri-city area (Tolkeen, Freehold and Magestock) are ruled by King Creed, and the Circle of Twelve. The reality is Freehold is a city of dragons who will do as they please.

Elements Common throughout Tolkeen

The following places and situations are common throughout the city. This means it is either a part of the city’s design, public services, ley line control system, or a result of the coming war.

Techno-Wizard Mass Transit System

The wizards at Tolkeen figured out a way to tap, modulate, store and transmit (via small stone pyramids) ley line energy. Using Techno-Wizard vehicles to ride or fly along ley lines
without any mechanical means of locomotion was made possible with the advent of the art of Techno-Wizardry. This new system, however (put into place 25 years ago), made it possible to extend enough ley line energy in a grid across the city to create “lanes” of ley line travel. These “lanes” were straight lines that glowed a very faint blue, almost a pale reflection of the natural lines of energy. These “transit lines” were not powerful enough for living beings to draw energy from them or to cause magical disturbances or mental irritation as ley lines are prone to do, but were sufficient to power most basic and small TW vehicles such as cars, Wing Boards, and so on, at half their normal speed and altitude, perfect for city use. Thus, a simple network of ley line highways were established.

In addition, the Techno-Wizards came up with a simple string often person “cars” strung together with a length of cable that functions very similarly to the old subway cars and elevated trains of pre-Rifts Earth.

Techno-Wizard Teleport Stations

Tolkeen’s Techno-Wizards and Shifters also developed a method of short-range, inner city teleportation as part of the public transit system. This was possible only at Teleport Pyramid
Stations and one could only teleport from one Teleportation Pyramid to another. There were approximately 30 scattered throughout the city, placing travelers at key business, shopping and entertainment areas or other, more conventional transit junctions. Teleportation Stations were located at the Great Arch, the Grand Mall, the Zoo, various campuses and other places of note.

Techno-Wizard Power Grid

The Tolkeenites also tapped the ley lines as their primary sources of energy. It was clean, familiar and flowing down the ley lines just begging to be used. The city also has a hydro-electric power plant on the shore of the Mississippi in the Southern Quadrant and a small wind-based power plant in the Eastern Quadrant, near the north and west junction. In the last decade, however, both of these plants have been running at low levels, accounting for less than 25% of the city’s overall energy needs.

Techno-Wizard Lighting

This network tied into the TW Power Grid and magic containment systems. With those gone, it’s lights out for half the city.


There are several small, Teleportation Pyramids in the city that channel and control mystic energy. Used both to travel and to maintain control of the dimensional energies in the city.


Skyscraper-like towers are found throughout Tolkeen. Many are the equivalent of New York style high-rises, apartment houses and office buildings, but some are the private domiciles
of flyers. You know, dragons, sphinxes, gargoyles, and all manner of intelligent winged creatures. The top floors and penthouses of most apartment buildings are reserved for dragons and like creatures.


Domes are used for a variety of purposes, including Bio-domes, places of science and residences, the latter often for dragons and other large beings.

Bio-Domes are a big feature at Tolkeen. They are self-contained environments designed to replicate the natural environments of alien worlds from atmosphere and vegetation to the
general appearance. These are places visited by home sick “D-Bees” (slang for Dimensional Beings) the same as we humans might visit a park or botanical garden for a little fun or relaxation.

Here at a Bio-dome, the D-Bee can drink in the beauty and peace of an idealized version of “home,” and enjoy the memories and pleasant emotions it brings. In addition to vegetation
and atmosphere (sometimes toxic to humans, especially from prolonged exposure), the Bio-Dome usually captures the general look and feel of the natural terrain and may include
some examples of that world’s smaller and least dangerous wildlife.

Home Shops & Services

There are a great many shops and services in the cities grand mall, in addition to a growing number being set up haphazardly throughout the city as people flock to the city worried about being caught by CS patrols. With resources scarce and work often minimal, some inhabitants, refugees and adventurers have set up shop in Tolkeen, working or offering services from their home, car or apartment.

Many a skilled electrician, mechanic/operator, young Techno-Wizard and tinkerer has built himself a shop in his basement, garage, or spare bedroom to take on extra work or offer
special services. This is usually done to make extra money to support oneself and/or a family, or to trade in order to get special or underground items and services in return.

Black Market, smugglers and other underworld figures can be found in the city. Additionally there are raids on the city by dimensional raiders occasionally.

Quadrants: Tolkeen is made up of four Quadrants; North, South, East and West. As we play your characters will learn more about the city.


The "Basics" Of Savage Worlds Rules
Players info...this will be explained in person ;)

What follows is The Rules. Don’t worry we will play the rules together and get to know them. This just gives you an idea of how things will be.

I’ll go over the rules in a series of One Off Game nights.

The Savage Worlds rules are simple and follow a standard pattern. Let’s dive right in and you’ll see how it works.


Every character or creature has two kinds of traits—attributes and skills. Each trait is rated from a d4 to a d12, with d6 being average and d12 being world-class.

Trait Tests

When you want your character to do something, the GM tells you what trait to use and you roll that die. If it’s equal to or greater than 4, plus or minus any modifiers, you’re successful.
Some characters or creatures have traits higher than a d12, such as a d12+3. That means to roll the d12 and add 3.

Target Numbers (TN): The usual target number for most tasks is 4, plus or minus any modifiers. Parry and Toughness are special TNs and will be explained later on.

Untrained: If a character doesn’t have a skill for an action he’s attempting he rolls with a d4 in the trait but subtracts 2 from the total. Some skills can never be used untrained, such as casting a spell or performing brain surgery.


Trait tests and damage rolls in Savage Worlds are “open ended.” That means when you roll the highest number possible on a die (a 6 on a d6, an 8 on a d8, and so on), you get to roll
that die again and add it to the total. This is called an “Ace,” and you can keep rolling and adding as long as you Ace!


Sometimes it’s important to know how successful a trait test was. A roll that’s 4 points over the target number is called a “raise.” If your hero needs a 4 to Shoot an opponent and rolls
an 8 or higher, he hits with a raise!

Example: A lady gunslinger in Deadlands needs a 4 to hit a walkin’ dead at short range with her .44 caliber Colt Navy. She has a d8 in Shooting, so she rolls an 8-sided die and gets an 8. That’s an Ace so she rolls again and gets a 4 this time for a total of 12. That’s two raises and one heck of a shot, ma’am!

Opposed Rolls

Sometimes rolls are “opposed” by an opponent. If two characters are wrestling for control of an ancient artifact, for example, they both make Strength rolls. When this happens,
the acting character gets his trait total first, followed by whoever is opposing him. The highest total wins.

Example: Buck Savage, a pulp hero, taunts an Aztec mummy. Buck gets a 7 on his Taunt. The mummy shrieks in anger and rolls next, getting a 3. Buck wins with a raise!

Wild Cards & Extras

Your hero (a player character), and unique villains and monsters are collectively called “Wild Cards.” Wild cards are the “named” characters who are important to the plot and thus
are just generally better than the unnamed “Extras.” These beings have a little better chance at doing things, are a little tougher to put down, and are generally more detailed than common guards, minions, or lackeys. Wild Cards are noted with the picture of Smilin’ Jack by their statistics, like this:

Buck Savage

The Wild Die

When making any sort of trait test, Wild Cards roll an extra d6 called the “Wild Die.” If the result of the Wild Die is higher than the trait die, take the result of the Wild Die instead.
All modifiers apply to both the trait and Wild Die since whichever is highest is your total before the modifier.

One Wild Die Per Action: When Wild Cards roll multiple dice for a single action, such as when firing on full-auto, they roll only one Wild Die. A gunner who fires three bursts, for example, rolls three of his Shooting dice and one Wild Die—which may then replace one of his Shooting dice if it comes out higher.

Example: A hero with a d8 Strength makes a roll. He rolls a d8 and his Wild Die, a d6, and gets an 8 and a 6, respectively—that’s an Ace on both dice! He rolls both again and gets a 4 and a 3. The d8 ends up with a 8+4=12, while the Wild Die is 6+3=9. The d8 scored highest in the end, so his total is 12.


Savage Worlds gives players and GMs a little extra control over the whims of fate. Every player starts each game session with three “bennies,” gaming stones or other tokens that signify a little bit of good luck or fate. (For those who don’t know, “bennies” is a slang term derived from “benefits.”)

You can use a benny to reroll any trait test. You can even keep spending them until you get the result you want or you run out of bennies! Take the best of your rolls—spending a benny should never hurt you, only help. If your original roll is a 5, for example, and a benny gets you a 4, you keep the original 5 instead. Bennies cannot normally be spent on damage rolls, rolls on tables, or anything besides trait rolls. (Soak rolls and certain Edges do allow other uses of bennies besides rerolling trait rolls, but these are the exception.) Bennies are not saved up between sessions, so use ‘em or lose ‘em!

The heart of a good roleplaying game is the ability to make, customize, and advance your own characters. Here’s how it works in Savage Worlds.

1) Race

Choose any race available in your setting for your character.

2) Traits & Derived Statistics
Your hero starts with a d4 in each attribute, and has 5 points with which to raise them. Raising an attribute a die type costs 1 point. Die types are d4, d6, d8, d10, and d12.

Charisma is equal to the total bonuses or penalties given by Edges and Hindrances.

Pace is 6”.

Parry is equal to 2 plus half of the Fighting die. (Half of Fighting d8 is 4 + 2 = Parry of 6.)

Toughness is equal to 2 plus half the character’s Vigor. Add the bonus granted by armor worn on the torso to this value, but remember it may not count if attacks target other parts of the body. (Half of Vigor d6 is 3 + 2 + 2 (chain armor) = Toughness of 7.)

3) Edges & Hindrances
Your character gains an “advance” for each Minor Hindrance she takes (up to two), and two advances for taking a single Major Hindrance. You’ll find a summary of core Edges & Hindrances at the end of this document, and more can be found in your setting book.

For 2 advances you can either:
• Gain another attribute point.
• Choose an Edge.
For 1 advance you can either:
• Gain another skill point.
• Increase starting funds by 100%.

4) Gear

5) Backgr ound Details
Fill in any other background details you care to add.

That more than enough for now. If you read this great. If not don’t worry we will be doing practice game sessions :)

Savage Rifts Players Guide

The cover of the new Players Guide:


SR Kickstarter !

Savage Rifts

The Kickstarter has launched and funded in under a minute!

30 minutes into the KS there was 331 backers – $41,123 pledged of $8000 AND all 6 Stretch Goals met!

9 hours into it: 1,156 backers and $126,182


I look forward to getting the PDF’s in June and the rest in print come November.

Short Savage Rifts Video

Interview of SR creator and details.


What are they?

So as far as possible Player characters, Rifts has a book full of great alien and D-Bee (Dimensional Beings…not of Earth). There are 36 new races in this book. 50 updated races from previous Rifts books. Nearly 100 alien beings in all. Some of you will be characters from Outer Planes, recently arrived from OSRIC or Star Wars to Rifts. Some of you will be humans. Some of you could be non humans who have been here on Earth for a generation or a few. As you decide on a character to play feel free to check out this book from my library of books!!

Another awesome cover by Dave Dorman.

From OSRIC to Savage Rifts

We will have a OSRIC / DnD1e character coming to Rifts!




… and …


How did the Kick Starter go?

4,238 backers pledged $438,076 to help bring this project to life.

Check it out…

I’ll have the PDF of the Game in June or July :)


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