After a lengthy move to another state, I’ve been slowly convincing new local friends and family to give Rifts a try! We started with character write up (the part they were probably most dreading, due to the time required), and I might be able to convince them to play soon! More converts for the Rifts RPG! Dungeons for the Dungeon Gods! Dice for the Dice Gods! Just a little Warhammer40k humor for you there, which is something I’ve also gotten into since moving…there may be more on that to follow in later posts. ;)
I know that typically Grackle Tooth are NOT allowed to use magic or psionics, but we’re thinking outside the box a little with this campaign – one of the other characters is actually a conversion from Palladium’s Dead Reign! So, if you don’t mind a bit of DM discretion…this could be a fun, powerful character to add to any party! And I’ve also taken the liberty of removing a few things to try to even the scales (lizard pun!), such as a couple Weapons Proficiencies and a couple skills; he’s built around his magic, so while he may still be an MDC creature, that’s not his strongest suit.
Game: Palladium Books’ Rifts RPG
Books Needed: Rifts Ultimate Edition, Rifts World Book 30: D-Bees of North America
Recommended Setting: Good for any MDC starting level party, or mid level SDC campaigns. Built for an Australian campaign, but could work in any warm/hot climate. Keep in mind that Grackle Tooth are already MDC creatures, adding psionic ability on top of that (as a mutation or otherwise) can be a bit of a challenge for inexperienced DMs.
Nickname: Tall Boy
Exp. Level: One
Experience Table: Burster (or by Grackle Tooth level: 4D6)
R.C.C.: Grackle Tooth
Invoke Trust/Intimidate: 65%
Charm/Impress: Not applicable.
Health Points: 19 (+1D6/lvl)
S.D.C.: Not applicable.
M.D.C.: 45 (+3D6/lvl)
P.P.E.: 6 (permanent)
I.S.P.: 97 (+1D6+1/lvl, Master Psionic)
Chi: Not applicable.
Horror/Awe Factor: 12
PS: 39 (Supernatural, Lift/Carry: 5000/2500 lbs.)
PE: 18 (Supernatural)
SPD: 21 (Run: 15 mph.)
Combat/Bonuses (See Weapon Proficiencies for combat bonuses when using a particular weapon type.)
Hand to Hand: Expert
Attacks: 5 (One of these is a tail attack.)
+Damage: 24 (This does NOT apply to full strength/power attacks, which instead do MDC.)
+Restrain Punch: 7
+Spell Strength: None
Restrained Fist Punch: 6D6
Fist Punch: 5D6 MD
Power Punch: 5D6 MDx2 (counts as 2 attacks)
Tail Strike: 5D6 MD
Racial Natural Abilities
Fast Healer Recovers M.D.C. at a rate of 2D6 per 12 hours.
Prehensile Tail All Grackle Tooth have a long (12-15 foot), tapering, prehensile tail. This adds 1 extra attack per melee round if the tail is used; it can hold and use most hand held melee weapons to strike and even handguns (a weapon fired by the tail is at -3 to strike, even with an Aimed Shot.) If damaged or lost, their tail will also fully regenerate at a rate of 1 foot per month until its full length is reached.
Desert Hardened Completely impervious to the negative effects of carcinogens and heat.
“That’s a Spicy Meatball!” Bursters are immune to the negative effects of eating spicy food or food/drink of hot temperatures – in fact, they love it!
Impervious to Fire/Heat/Smoke A psionic aura radiates around the Burster, making them and what they’re wearing completely impervious to damage or effects (burning, melting, etc.) of fire or heat. Even M.D. plasma, napalm, a Dragon’s fire breath, and magical fires do nothing more than minimal cosmetic damage (singed clothing/armour, damage a delicate item, etc.); even the most intense M.D. blaze does no damage whatsoever. This means the character can pick up and hold hot coals, burning timbers, eat fire (for show, not nourishment), and walk around or stand in fire without discomfort or alighting themself; it feels natural and invigorating. This protective aura even helps to insulate against electricity (M.D. attacks inflict half damage and S.D. attacks only tingle) and this character never sweats. This ability also means the Burster is unaffected by smoke; they can breathe unimpaired in the thickest clouds of billowing smoke. Their vision is only slightly obscured (half the usual distance and clarity), speed is reduced by a meager 10%, and combat penalties are only at -1 to strike/parry/dodge. Most Humans and D-Bees are blinded by smoke (-10 on all combat rolls, -25% to all skill performance, -50% speed) and choke on the noxious fumes (roughly equivalent to tear gas) – a normal person will choke to death from smoke inhalation in 1D6+4 minutes.
I.S.P. Recovery Recovers spent I.S.P. at a rate of 2 points per hour of activity, or 12 points per hour of meditation or rest.
Ley Line Energy Influence When on or within 1 mile of a ley line, the duration and range of all of the Burster’s abilities (fire and psionic) are increased by 50%. When they are at or within 1 mile of a nexus point, their abilities are at ×2 strength!
+Ritual Magic: 2
+Psionics: 2 (As a Master Psionic, they need only roll a 10 or higher to save vs. psionic attack.)
+Harmful Drugs: 2
+Horror Factor: 8
+Fatigue: None (Supernatural beings do not show signs of fatigue even after hours of physical exertion or combat.)
+Mind Control: 1 (Includes mind controlling drugs.)
R.C.C. Related Skills:
Language: Native: English 98% (max)
Language: Other: Faerie Speak 80% +3%/lvl
Land Navigation 46% +5%/lvl
Mathematics: Basic 60% +5%/lvl
Pilot: Automobile 60% +4%/lvl
Pilot: Airplane 70% +2%/lvl
Streetwise 30% +4%/lvl
O.C.C. Related Skills: (+1 skill at levels 4, 9, and 12.)
Imitate Voices and Sounds 42%/36% +4%/lvl
Pick Locks 23% +5%/lvl
Cook 50% +5%/lvl
Appraise Goods 40% +5%/lvl (Taken twice, can appraise magical items.)
Preserve Foods 30% +5%/lvl
Gymnastics (Includes the following skills:)
■ Sense of Balance 50% +3%/lvl
■ Work Parallel Bars and Rings 60% +3%/lvl
■ Backflip 70% +2%/lvl
■ Basic Prowl 30% (Does not increase with level.) (or +5% if already known)
■ Basic Climbing 25% (Does not increase with level.) (or +5% if already known)
■ Climb Rope/Rappel 60% +2%/lvl
Secondary Skills: (+2 skills at levels 3, 6, 9, and 12.)
Barter 30% +4%/lvl
Literacy: Native: English 40% +5%/lvl
Gambling (Standard) 30% +5%/lvl
Lore: Aboriginal Australian Peoples 25% +5%/lvl
Lore: Faeries and Creatures of Magic 30% +5%/lvl
Wilderness Survival 30% +5%/lvl
Knife (+1 strike 2, 4, 7, 10, 13. +1 parry 1, 3, 6, 9, 12. +1 strike when thrown 1, 3, 6, 8, 10, 13.)
Paired Weapons (see page 327 of Rifts Ultimate Edition for full description.)
Shotgun (+1 strike 1, 3, 6, 10, 14.)
Standard Damage: 2D6 S.D. (buckshot, half damage if rock salt is used)
Range: 200 feet
Payload: 6 shots (with 18 extra shots of buckshot)
Note: Damage is for a single round fired, if both barrels are fired simultaneously, double the damage.
Survival Knife: 1D6.
Armored Trench Coat 25 M.D.C.. Appears to be a normal trench coat, but has plates of M.D.C. armoring stitched inside, weighs 20 lbs. -10% mobility for civilians, -5% mobility for those trained in combat (no penalty for physical skills like Climbing.) Covers 40-60% of the body. No helmet included that will fit his reptilian head.
Gear (All located in backpack unless stated otherwise.)
Plain clothing (x2)
Trail Rations (x7 days, stale and nearing expiry date)
Personal Items (Deck of dirty playing cards, spices in sealed containers, high quality cast iron cookware, non-empowered tribal fetish from a mentor, necklace with teeth from each family member)
Black Market Items: 12,000 credits worth.
Other Currency/Accounts: None
Magic (P.P.E. Cost)
Psionics (I.S.P. Cost)
Extinguish Fires (4): The Burster can instantly put out fires without the need of chemicals or water. The fire just disappears because the psychic can channel and control the energy to make it stop spreading and quickly go out.
Range: 100ft +10ft per level.
Area of Effect: Can extinguish a 200ft radius of flame per level; their control is so great that they can go for the maximum (usually in an effort to save lives/property) or narrowly focus it to cover a small area.
Duration: Instant and permanent; until the fire is reignited.
Flame Burst: Self (4+): The psychic can seemingly burst into flame, becoming completely engulfed in fire. Technically, there is only a fiery aura around their body; nothing on their person is actually on fire and so nothing is damaged. Furthermore, the character can move around without any difficulty. However, the fire will ignite anything they touch that is not flame-retardant, like carpeting, drapes, furniture, paper, wood, etc.. Also see Flame Burst Body Protection.
Duration: 2 minutes per level.
S.D.: 6D6 per strike to any person/thing that they touch (damage is accumulative.) Plus, all combustible articles will catch fire and do an additional 6D6 per melee round until extinguished. These flames are not powerful enough to damage a M.D.C. armour/items unless within 1 mile of a ley line nexus point, in which case the damage increases to 1D4 M.D., but costs 2 extra I.S.P..
M.D.: 1D6 M.D. can be inflicted (2D6 M.D. at ley lines and 3D6 M.D. at a nexus point) if the Burster concentrates intensely to inflict maximum damage. This 1D6 M.D. can be added to the damage inflicted from simply touching or striking something. The M.D. attacks cost an additional 8 I.S.P., last only 1 melee round per level, and each strike counts as 2 melee attacks.
Flame Burst Body Protection: Special (Comes With Flame Burst, No Cost): The aura of fire from the Flame Burst also provides a limited field of protection equal to 30 M.D.C.+6 M.D.C. per level. This field renews itself at a rate of 3D6 M.D.C. per melee round (though it cannot exceed the maximum M.D.C. rating allowed per level.)
Fire Bolt (2 – 4): A fiery bolt can be hurled or fired from the forehead or hands (even if the latter is an artificial appendage), the size and damage of which is automatically controlled by the Burster.
Range: 200ft +20ft per level.
Duration: Instant; each bolt/strike counts as 1 melee attack.
Bonus to Strike: +4; within line of sight.
S.D.: Minibolt inflicts 2D6; medium bolt inflicts 4D6; and a heavy bolt inflicts 6D6 – all of which cost only 2 I.S.P., regardless of the strength of the bolt.
M.D.: Plasma bolt inflicts 2D6 M.D., but costs 4 I.S.P.
Fire Eruption (10 – 20): They can cause fire to erupt in front of someone or in a certain area (never directly on a living creature) instantly and without the need for combustible materials. The size of the flamecan be instantly controlled to be very small area and be an inch tall or more, or to cover larger areas and greater heights. The flame will burn as long as the Burster wills it to (so long asthey can expend the necessary I.S.P.) and cannot be extinguished by normal means because it is fueled by psychic energy. If the Burster is rendered unconscious, blinded, or distracted, the flame will disappear. If the fire is created in an area where there are combustibles (carpeting, wood, furniture, paper, walls, ceiling, etc.), they will catch fire within 1D4 meled rounds (1 minute or less.) The burning of these materials is a separate, regular fire that can be extinguished normally, but if left to spread can cause immense damage as any fire would do.
Range:100ft +20ft per level; a specific target must be visible, while a target area does not have to visible but its precise area must be known to the Burster (such as an adjacent room, the next floor up, etc.)
Area of Effect: 20ft area +5ft per level.
Duration: The flame eruption will stay ignited for 10 minutes or until the Burster cancels the effect (which can be done at will.) They can also keep the fire burning longer by spending an additional 1 I.S.P. per 10 minutes, though they must stay within range and concentrate on maintaining the fire. Also, any combustible items continue to burn and spread until extinguished, even after the psionic fire is gone.
Penalties: Melee actions are reduced by half and fighting is impossible unless the Burster breaks their concentration, causing the fire to disappear.
Skill Level: 48% +4%/lvl. A failed roll indicates that the eruption happens, but is 2D6 yards off target. -25% to hit a target they cannot see if it’s smaller than 20ft in diameter; huge targets are easier to hit but the Burster is still at a -5% to strike it if they cannot see it.
S.D.: Tiny flame inflicts 1D4; a fire covering 1-2 yards inflicts 4D6; a 6ft pillar/wall of flame inflicts 1D4×10; and filling a room or 20ft area with fire inflicts 2D4×10 per melee round or when anyone tries to run through it.
M.D.: All M.D. fires cost ×2 the I.S.P. (20) and can only be applied as larger fire walls, pillars, and areas. A 6ft fire wall/pillar inflicts 2D6 M.D.; a 20ft area inflicts 4D6 M.D.; and an area of 40ft or larger inflicts 6D6 M.D. per melee round or when anyone tries to run through it. Combustible items burn hotter and spread ×4 as fast as a S.D. fire.
Sense Fire (2): Enables the Burster to sense if there is a fire nearby, even as small as a candle or a burning cigarette. To sense the fire, they must stop and concentrate (15 seconds), after which they receive psychic impressions as to the approximate size (small, medium, large, etc.), approximate distance (near or far), and general direction (North, South, etc., and up or down if in a building). They can also tell if it’s contained/slowly spreading/raging out of control, whether it was natural/accidental/intentional, if it is magical or psionic in origin, and approximately how long it has been burning. Using this ability, the Burster can also examine burnt objects and ashes and effectively Object Read them to get a sense of when the fire was last burning, and whether it was natural or man-made. This ability also enables the Burster to recognize and sense Fire Elementals, supernatural creatures/Beings of fire, fire based demons, Fire Demon Automatons, and Fire/Water Elemental Fusionists (but not Fire Dragons or Bursters, unless the latter uses Flame Burst: Self or Flame Eruption.)
Range: Sensing for a burning fire will cover a 800ft radius +100ft per level. Examining ashes or burnt debri requires touch.
Duration: Requires 15 seconds (1 melee round) of prepatory concentration, but the psychic impressions and being in tune to the fire(s) lasts for 4 minutes (16 mele rounds); the character can use this ability to track down fires and tell if it is spreading.
Note: This power does not dosclose the location or identity of those who started the fire, nor does it apply to machines or engines which radiate heat. If the Burster also uses the powers of Telepathy, See Aura, or Empathy, they can tell if the target of their psychic probe is a firebug/arsonist.
Super Fuel Flame (8): The Burster can feed a fire with psychic energy, increasing its size by as little as ×2 or as much as ×10.
Range: 100ft per level.
Area of Effect: 20ft area per level.
Damage: Increased by the proportional size of the fire; DM’s discretion.
Empathy (4): Used to feel specific and general emotions of a target or muliple individuals within range.
Saving Throws: Standard, a successful save means they cannot get a clear sense of emotions (saving throws must be made once per round that Empathy is being used.)
Mind Block (4): Can completely close/block their mind from psychic/mental emanations. While blocked, cannot sense anything, use psychic abilities, nor be influenced by others. Does not effect magic.
Bonuses: +1 to save vs. psionic/mental attack.
Death Trance (1): A state of mind of matter that slows the metabolism to such a degree that it creates a temporary state of suspended animation, simulating death. Without medical facilities, even a doctor is likely to believe the character is dead (01-89% likelihood). The effects of drugs, toxins, and chemicals are slowed to a crawl, doing minimal damage or effect, but will immediately take full effect the instance the trance is ended (unless treatment is administered first.) While in the trance, the psychic cannot be roused or respond to stimulus, including psychic probes; they are incapable of attacking or defending themselves until the trace is broken.
Duration: As long as the psychic sense they must feign death, up to a maximum of 4 days.
Not applicable, and this character will avoid them at almost any cost.
Power Armour/Robot Vehicles
True Name: Tighernan Flintlock
Occupation: Unemployed traveler
Lifespan: 192 years
Height: 10′ 3″ (Tail length of 13′ 6″.)
Weight: 603 lbs.
Description: Among the tallest of Grackle Tooth, Tall Boy is a gangling fellow, too thin for his size and with long limbs and an average length tail. His scales are a ruddy tan color, his spines are relatively small, but they are still tough and can parry a blade. He has yellow eyes, like all in his family, and still carries hints of a bayou accent from his childhood.
Personal Quote: “I jus’ wan’ the good things in life, an’ I wanna share ’em. An’ one o’ the best I ever experienced is Ol’ Granmama Louanne Flintlock Baptiste’s shrimp gumbo; oh, it’s spicy heaven in a spoon. Yew wan’ a bowl?”
Insanity(s): Phobia: Dragons (all Dragonkind, young and old), and a distrust of reptile kind other than Grackle Tooth.
Sentiments Toward Coalition State: Not much personal experience, but they’re like a boogie man that Ma’ n Pa’ told him about, so he fears them in theory. After all, that’s why they packed up and moved to another country.
Sentiments Toward D-Bees: Believes all non dangerous D-Bees (so not Dragons and many other reptile races) deserve equality. Seeks happiness for all, loves trading recipes with anyone.
Sentiments Toward Humans: Perfectly fine with the humanfolk, loves trading recipes with anyone.
Sentiments Toward Magic/Psionics: Wary of disclosing his psionic ability to just anyone, since it’s so unusual for his race, but he loves magical and psionic items/abilities. The more the merrier, as long as they’re being used responsibly.
Mutations: None, unless you count his psionic ability, which is unheard of for his race.
Cold Blooded Unsuited to cold weather and finds it uncomfortable; -5% to all skill performance and -1 to all combat bonuses if forced out into temperatures 35°F or lower. Freezing temperatures feel like below 0°F to a Grackle Tooth.
Size and Reputation Due to their large size, some places and objects can be unaccommodating (doorways, beds, smaller weapons, fine tools, etc.), and are uncomfortable but not impossible to use. Their size and reputation as fearsome warriors also makes them prime targets in an attack.
Too Strong For Melee Weapons! Due to having a supernatural strength, when wielding a melee weapon, they inflict either the weapon damage plus P.S. damage bonus (in SDC), OR their own P.S. damage as per Supernatural Strength rules, whichever is greater. Also, they may be too strong to use melee weapons and they may break! A weapon is in danger of breaking whenever the total damage inflicted exceeds 3x that of the maximum base weapon damage! (This breakage rule is optional and at the DM’s discretion.)
Background: Born just minutes after his twin sister, Ava, Tighernan and his sister would surprise both parents and their Grackle Tooth bayou family with their early manifestations of psionic ability. The sibling’s twin connection was strong, and only made stronger by their very unusual talents, a connection they’d retain whispers of throughout adulthood and to today. The ability, while startling and strange to the very physical and not at all magically inclined lizardfolk, was treated as a boon for the bayou family, and they were much beloved. Tall Boy’s parents were proud, hardworking people, and they gave a lot of themselves and their riches to those less fortunate, instilling a strong sense of generosity and fairness in their children. Unfortunately, the peace and prosperity would not last. The Coalition began to hear rumors of magical Grackles, and as the army already targeted the race for their physical might and on account of them being non-human, it was just a matter of time before rumors turned to action. Fearing for their children’s lives and the good of their little bayou community, the group scattered. Jack and Oona spent all their resources crossing an ocean to find a hopeful future in Australia when the children were five years old. They acclimated quickly, being a generous and resourceful family, but traveled a lot, searching for a safe place to settle. Australia, while rife with it’s own dangers, had no strong CS presence, and they found work and friends among the Aboriginal peoples, many of which were able to mentor their unusually gifted children. Tighernan grew like a weed, surpassing his twin sister and their Father in height (gaining the nickname “Tall Boy” from a mentor, it just stuck), and showing an affinity for fire, to the point that his parents found out he was a Burster when he combusted in his sleep (thankfully nothing and nobody was harmed)! Ava’s abilities were technological in nature, and she used this affinity to take after their Mother, learning how to be an Operator, as well as augmenting her inventions and assisting her repairs with her psionic power. The family never stopped traveling, never staying in one place or with one single tribe longer than a few months. A childhood like that, surrounded with so much culture and people who need help, really shaped who Tall Boy would become. While he still has fond memories of his original home in the bayous of Louisiana, his nomadic life has suited him and he seeks to learn so much more; especially recipes, cooking is his passion and the one thing besides and occasional southern drawl that connects him to his homeland. He left to seek out more recipes, more knowledge, and to learn the cultures and languages of other magical beings, perhaps learning more about why he has these highly unusual abilities.
Family Tree: Tall Boy was born the youngest (by three minutes) of two children to Jack and Oona Flintlock, well-off natives of the Louisiana Bayou in the United States, who later emigrated to Australia. His twin sister, Ava Flintlock, is a skilled Psi-Operator and they are on very good terms, contacting each other when possible, they can always rely on the other. The siblings also share a twin sense of sorts, able to tell when something is wrong or the other is in danger even whole continents away, and when close enough, able to telepathically communicate! Jack Flintlock is a Mercenary and bounty hunter, making money protecting the Aboriginal territories, while Oona Flintlock works as an Operator and bounty hunter, maintaining caravan vehicles and assisting the native tribes with repairing their tech. Tall Boy is on good terms with both parents, though they lead very busy lives and are constantly traveling through Australia and don’t have the chance to make contact with him much.
Tall Boy the Grackle Tooth (Scrupulous, 1st level Burster)
IQ: 11 ME: 17 MA: 21 PS: 39 (Supernatural) PP: 16 PE: 18 (Supernatural) PB: 11 Spd: 21 MDC: 45 ISP: 97 Attacks: 5 (1 with tail)
Arms: Hunting Shotgun: 2D6, 200ft., Survival Knife: 1D6, Armored Trench Coat: 25 MDC
Abilities: Horror/Awe Factor 12, prehensile tail, MDC recovery of 2D6 per 12 hours, impervious to heat and carcinogens.
Psionics: Extinguish Fires (4), Flame Burst Self (4+), Firebolt (2-4), Fire Eruption (10-20), Sense Fire (2), Super Fuel Flame (8), Empathy (4), Mind Block (4), Death Trance (1)
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