Geeksago chatted with Kevin Siembieda of Palladium books regarding the latest source-book for the company's post-apocalyptic tabletop role-playing game 'Rifts.' -- 'Secrets of the Atlanteans.'
What does Atlantis have to offer as a setting for players?
There is so much.
First, Atlantis on Rifts Earth is an exotic and dangerous place ruled by inhuman monsters and filled with magic, aliens, dragons, and cruel supernatural creatures. It is also home to the Splynn Dimension Market where it is said that one can find and purchase ANYTHING, if he is willing to play the price. There is also slavery – i.e. humans and D-Bees (slang for Dimensional Beings) – captured, sold and force into slavery or to do battle in the gladiatorial arena for the spectacle and profit of their Splugorth masters. Humans and other mortal beings are also subjected to magical experiments. Atlantis is the place to acquire alien and weird magic and life-altering symbiotic organisms and parasites, Rune weapons and other strange magicks. There is the Preserve where humans and D-Bees are hunted for sport, and areas of the island continent that are the domain of dragons and giant gargoyles and other monsters.
Atlantis is a hotbed for all kind of intrigue and treachery, which means there is always someone looking to hire adventurers, mercs, thieves and assassins. Once home to ancient human Atlanteans before Atlantis vanished (it was magically displaced in another dimension until the
Coming of the Rifts and the Great Cataclysm), their descendants known as True Atlanteans, long for an opportunity to take back their homeland from the hated Minions of Splugorth.
Atlanteans secretly walk among the population of transdimensional visitors to Atlantis, and work
to undermine the Splugorth and other evil, monstrous forces. That includes the hideous Horune Pirates, freelance henchmen fo the Splugorth.
Atlantis is also where one can find Tattooed Men who wear and unleash magic tattoos as well as the mysterious Sunaj Assassins – the Splugorth’s latest minions. Masked killers who hate and hunt True Atlanteans.
Atlantis with its many the Stone Pyramids makes it is a gateway to many other worlds and dimensions, which can lead to all manner of new adventures.
What does Secrets of the Atlanteans have to offer as a setting for players that is different from the Atlantis World Book?
Clans and populations of True Atlanteans are scattered across the Megaverse. Secrets of the Atlanteans presents several of the most notable clans and the many different worlds and dimensions they now consider to be their adopted home. Each with its own history, agenda and secrets. This is why Atlanteans is a “Dimension Book” because it covers many alien worlds and
dimensions and plots that span the Megaverse. This is especially true of the Aerihman clan and the mysterious Sunaj assassins. There is a large amount of information on that clan and the Sunaj Assassin secret society. The section on Stone Pyramids makes it clear how they function and are used to heal, protect and travel across dimensions.
All of this makes it completely different than Rifts® World Book Two: Atlantis and carries the scope of the True Atlanteans dimensional travels hinted at in Atlantis to a new cosmic level in Secrets of the Atlanteans. This book really is epic in its scope while remaining true to the original material.
Are there new character classes?
Oh yeah. There is the Shadow Assassin and Shadow Mage and the Crystal Mage, complete with an explanation of their unique magicks and a ton of new magic spells and Magic tattoos. I think more that 60 Magic tattoos and close to 100 spells between Shadow and Crystal magic. Not to mention more creatures from the Shadow Realm and some information about that dark, forbidding dimension. There is also the Atlantean Defender, Atlantean Voyager, and new information and details about the Atlantean Undead Slayer, Monster Hunter, Nomad and Sunaj Assassin.
Who is the creative team that worked on it?
Carl Gleba was the primary architect and writer, and he knocked this book out of the park. I (Kevin Siembieda) added additional source material and a large number of Crystal and Shadow magic spells. Charles Walton II did most of the character and monster artwork, Ben Rodriguez illustrated something like 60 magic tattoos, and John Zeleznik did the cover painting. All of us watched out for continuity issues and Wayne Smith and Alex Marciniszyn handled the heavy lifting on editing.
Although Rifts is a post-apocalyptic setting, many of the source-books seem more like high fantasy, in my opinion. In what direction will this source-book go?
Rifts is a beautiful and deliberate mash-up of all genres; science fiction and fantasy, magic and technology, humanity and the supernatural, high-tech wonders and the horrific and demonic. Some books like Rifts Sourcebook One, Northern Gun One and Two and the Triax books focus on the tech and science fiction, while others delve more into high fantasy. I think I would categorize Secrets of the Atlanteans in the category of high fantasy, though there are some science fiction elements.
By the way, the author, Carl Gleba, and 30+ Palladium writers, artist, staff and personalities will be part of the 2018 Palladium Open House, April 19-22, 2018. The Open House is a sort of mini-convention where Palladium creators and fans from around the world gather to game and hangout. It’s a blast. Limited to about 300 people and held at the Palladium warehouse in Westland, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. I invite your audience members to go to Palladium’s Website to check it out and come on over to join the fun.
Interview with Kevin Siembieda on Palladium's Chaos Earth Resurrection supplement for Rifts.
Interview with Kevin Siembieda on Palladium's Hell Reign supplement for Dead Reign.