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"So Why is there No Rifts Minis Games?" Topic

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2,319 hits since 18 Apr 2012
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Eli Arndt Inactive Member18 Apr 2012 7:48 p.m. PST

It increasingly seems that Palladium Games is simply putting its fingers in its ears and la la la-ing it's way through the the industry with a blind eye toward the obvious marketing possibility that is it's Rifts IP.

I know that there was a week attempt at making miniatures for the RPG back in the day, but I'm talking about now. With Kevin always whining about his money issues why hasn't he entertained the possibility of a licensed minis game based on his IP.

Think about it, though I do not like them, Rifts would make for a perfect pre-painted minis game. There are so many different things and regions going on in that universe that you already have a bazillion releases already framed out for you.

If he didn't want to go pre-painted, then why not jump on the 15mm science fiction bandwagon and glom on to the desire for miniatures of his stuff as well as the infinite potential for crossover sales based on the fact that Rifts is so full of stuff that everyone is going to find something they like in there, even if they don't play Rifts.

I'm just floored. Once again, it would almost require a serious effort or an absolutely untenable set of licensing requirements for this to not have happened.


darthfozzywig Supporting Member of TMP18 Apr 2012 7:59 p.m. PST

Apart from the dubious value of such a license and the questionable popularity of the property, from what I gather of Mr. Simbieda and the experience of others, it would not be a wise choice.

Chef Lackey Rich Fezian Inactive Member18 Apr 2012 8:15 p.m. PST

I think you're grossly overestimating the popularity of Rifts in today's market. It's an old, tired game that barely sells enough of each new book to pay for the next one, and sometimes fails to do that, which is why Kevin resorts to things like selling artwork and reprinting Robotech books to generate cash surges. Why would you expect a minis line (even one supported by a tailored rules set) to do any better, especially with onerous licensing fees tacked on?

Eli Arndt Inactive Member18 Apr 2012 8:37 p.m. PST

It was more of a retrospective question than anything. I realize that Rifts' time has past, but there was a time when it was quite hot.

I'm well aware of several reasons why it has not, will not, and is not a wide thing to do, but I figured I'd hear other people's perspective to see if there was anything to challenge my own perceptions.

I will say that Rift the RPG does not have to be healthy for a revival as a minis game to be successful. Done right, trimming some of the fat, focusing on tight faction creation, the Rifts property could be transformed into a pretty nice minis game, I'd imagine.

It would take somebody with vision and a good head for casting off the chaff to find what is truly good there and focus on that. Chitown, Tolkeen, Lonestar, NGR, Archie, Splugorth, etc.. The big names from the earlier books make for solid wargaming factions with real armies and a lot of troop types to offer a player.

That said, one could conceivably put together their own add-hock rifts game using the vast assortment of minis out there.


jbenton Inactive Member18 Apr 2012 8:43 p.m. PST

Unless the prices were outrageous by comparison, the quality was much lower than other lines, or they somehow implanted them with technology that prevented you from using them for any other games, I don't think, miniatures wise at least, that Rifts would fare much worse than any number of other miniatures lines.

Depending, of course, on the size, things like Coalition troopers could easily stand in as IG troops, and the same is true across the line. If one can say nothing else about Rifts it's that the game takes an everything-and-the-kitchen sink approach; there'd likely be something in there that would suit any number of needs.

I don't, however, see it ever happening, as I do imagine that most companies would find the licensing terms unpalatable.

BigNickR18 Apr 2012 8:52 p.m. PST

Sell it to 'clix, i'd love to fight the Xmen in a glitterboy!

Ghostrunner18 Apr 2012 9:43 p.m. PST

Frankly, I'm not sure why one would have to licence Rifts to do a Post-Apocolyptic Cyborgs and Magic CMG.

The concept was around long before Rifts, and my limited reading of the sourcebooks seems to reinforce my initial impression that Rifts is really a collection of other settings (Terminator, half-a-dozen anime series, Gamma World, the Book of Revelations, etc.) all thrown together.

Nothing wrong with that, but unless you want your Terminator stand-ins to look EXACTLY like the ones on the Rifts books, I don't see why someone couldn't make a perfectly serviceable game without dealing with Palladium.

napthyme Sponsoring Member of TMP18 Apr 2012 10:03 p.m. PST

Because Rifts is solely created by Kevin and Kevin only. So to do a mini game, you will need to hire him as CEO of your company to design, write, market, and produce everything.

This is why there are no rifts fan sites. if you think GW is draconian about there IP rights Palladium makes them look like a public domain company.

Cherno19 Apr 2012 3:58 a.m. PST

There has been a talks about a Rifts movie for years, maybe if it gets made, we will also see a Rifts tabletop game :)

LeadLair76 Inactive Member19 Apr 2012 5:41 a.m. PST

I'm pretty much with Ghostrunner on this. Why would anyone bother to license when you could easily make something similiar without having to pay a licensing fee. If anything the Rifts name might even be a disadvantage at this point in time.

Eli Arndt Inactive Member19 Apr 2012 5:51 a.m. PST

Sure you can do it without the license. I've already made that comment. You can do Star Wars without Lucas too. Spacefighters, scoundrels and space knights didn't start with him either. You can always recreate a theme easily enough, sure.

However, if you wanted to do the real thing and to be able to use all the incredibly cool designs that Rifts has produced, you would have to go through Kevin.

It is the iron grip that Kevin has on his stuff that has been a major obstacle to such things. That and, from what I can tell, a pretty big self-riteous streak regarding the quality of his work. I really have found that Kevin is in the "my poop don't stink and never shall" category of designers. I think the fact that Palladium has plodded along with the same ol' clunky system since it's inception goes a long way to demonstrate that.

In the end, I suppose there are many supposed reason why this hasn't, won't and perhaps even shouldn't happen.


Tgunner19 Apr 2012 6:25 a.m. PST

Actually Eli Palladium (Kevin) is considering this. Check out this fairly recent update:

● Rifts® (and Robotech®?) Miniatures. Carmen Bellaire and I also continue to discuss the feasibility of releasing a Rifts® and/or Robotech® miniatures game even if it's on a limited basis to start. Let us know whether you might be interested in such products.

● In addition to Carmen's efforts, Palladium has been approached by two different people about making a Robotech® miniatures game. We are currently entertaining the possibilities.

And they are getting a first release of miniatures for Rifts ready. Kevin has also mentioned in the last few Palladium updates that a Robotech miniatures game is very much on his mind and that he is looking into letting some other folks develop it.

So who knows? Maybe there is a Rifts game in the works.

Jana Wang Inactive Member19 Apr 2012 7:33 a.m. PST

There have been Palladium/Rifts minis in the past. I bought a bunch at $1 USD a pack years ago, it seemed like they weren't popular.

A couple people have touched on Kevin's obsessive grip on his IP but no one has brought up his reputation for not playing well with others, and neglecting to pay people he has hired to do work for his game. That's likely to be a big stumbling block for any new releases.

Eli Arndt Inactive Member19 Apr 2012 8:02 a.m. PST

I am pretty convinced that unless he lets somebody else develop it, it'd be a horrible showing anyhow.

I used to play his games near what I'd call religiously but even I can't count myself in Kevin's corner.


CPBelt19 Apr 2012 8:58 a.m. PST

Many years ago, I bought the Rifts CCG. It was not a good experience. Just sayin'.

Farstar Inactive Member19 Apr 2012 9:14 a.m. PST

The sad thing is, he's got the whole range of games available, from gang skirmish to armor to space fleets.

Eli Arndt Inactive Member19 Apr 2012 9:41 a.m. PST

Yup. that is the frustrating part. In better hands, the Palladium IP could have been garnered into quite the little empire.


infojunky20 Apr 2012 3:34 a.m. PST

The true honest reason I have heard and seen examples of is Mr. Simbieda is a pain to deal with. That and his history of screwing over people he is in business with. I don't know the man personally, so all I have to judge him on is his public actions.

IMHO Rifts is the source of the ever escalating power curve that seems to be popular in a number of games with loads of supplements. And I suspect that would plague any miniatures game he produced…

Lion in the Stars20 Apr 2012 4:03 a.m. PST

The key difference is that a Robotech game would only sorta be under Simbieda's control anyway (after the drubbing that HG took in court over the IP versus FASA). He knows *that* IP isn't his, but he can make money off of it (and people will happily do the work for peanuts).

Rifts as a whole is a lot harder, since there are so many different pieces.

Bob Faust of Strategic Elite Sponsoring Member of TMP20 Apr 2012 9:31 a.m. PST

Funny you should ask the question. I was telling some of my customers the other day that once the Fantasy and Sci-Fi supplements for Brink of Battle are in print, players will be able to re-create Rifts, Shadowrun, and Gamma World as miniatures skirmish games.

You can read more about the game here

One customer on our facebook group has converted his Battletech Mechs to use with the main Brink of Battle rules already!

Jape77 Inactive Member22 Apr 2012 10:51 p.m. PST

The true honest reason I have heard and seen examples of is Mr. Simbieda is a pain to deal with. That and his history of screwing over people he is in business with. I don't know the man personally, so all I have to judge him on is his public actions.

Infojunky, I was one of those people, so I can comment on it. While I did not get screwed over as badly as some of my friends who worked with him — I did get paid after all — the experience was so unpleasant it essentially lead me to leave the business (the RPG part of it at least).

In retrospect … well, in retrospect I could say a lot of things. I certainly could have handled myself differently, but, I've been told, it would have made little difference in the long run. In a way, I'm lucky I got burned when I did and not years later.

The upshot is, forget a line of miniatures — I'm just surprised Kevin Siembieda is still in business at all.

Coelacanth1938 Inactive Member23 Apr 2012 6:54 p.m. PST

Over twenty years ago, Palladium sued some poor kid for $250,000 USD because he dared publish a Robotech fanzine with a circulation of 99.

I have steered clear of anything related to Palladium since.

Some of us don't forget Mr. Siembieda.

Farstar Inactive Member24 Apr 2012 1:54 p.m. PST

One Robotech fanzine, called Protoculture Addicts, popped along just fine with either a nod or a blind eye from Harmony Gold, but got zapped when they tried to include Robotech RPG material.

Jape77 Inactive Member24 Apr 2012 10:55 p.m. PST

Siembieda also went after a new small publisher in the early '90s when they did a book on converting stats between RPGs. Wizards of the Beach? Coast? Something like that.

I wonder whatever happened to them…

Chef Lackey Rich Fezian Inactive Member25 Apr 2012 5:09 a.m. PST

Siembieda also went after a new small publisher in the early '90s when they did a book on converting stats between RPGs. Wizards of the Beach? Coast? Something like that.

I know, I donated $20 USD to their legal defense fund. Didn't want to see Talislanta (which they had at the time) go OOP.

I wonder whatever happened to them…

Not much, just one of the greatest success stories in the gaming industry. Wish they hadn't dropped Talislanta, though. Maybe Peter will send me my $20 USD back if I ask politely? :)

Jape77 Inactive Member25 Apr 2012 8:11 a.m. PST

My Palladium-refugee pal and I used to joke that Peter Adkison should send Siembieda royalties for Magic: The Gathering … after all, if Kevin hadn't been such a tool and sued the fledgling Wizards, WOTC might not have veered from RPGs in their early days and gone into collectable card games.

28mmMan Inactive Member25 Apr 2012 8:30 a.m. PST

"Because Rifts is solely created by Kevin and Kevin only. So to do a mini game, you will need to hire him as CEO of your company to design, write, market, and produce everything.

This is why there are no rifts fan sites. if you think GW is draconian about there IP rights Palladium makes them look like a public domain company"


Having met with Kevin, or as he normally referred to as "Mr Wonderful and oh so Charming", I can promise you that he would require all of the above and most likely more.

Protective is one thing, he takes the process to a whole new level.

And I like the Palladium systems, for the most part. RIFTs has much going for it. Down play the massive and ever growing power curve where each new book made the characters twice as powerful as the book before.

That aspect of catering to power gaming munchkins…that sucked…nut it is easy to turn the volume down, bring it all back to ground, and gently raise it to a reasonable level.

The books are rich with tons of data and some great background material.

I have a dozen or more Palladium books on my shelf.

I asked him once at GENCON, no it was at the GAMA show in New Orleans, about the art…

"Kevin some of the art in your RIFTS books is just fantastic, is there any thought to making the art consistent, perhaps using the same artist for a book?"

His response…

"Firetruck You move along" (he used another shorter word)

I was stunned. Did I say something wrong? Was it my breath? I just sort of wandered off.

Apparently he was mad at something or someone and was venting…yay, lucky me.

Jape77 Inactive Member25 Apr 2012 8:43 p.m. PST

Kevin mad at someone and venting? Around here we called that "Tuesday"

Shakespear12 May 2017 6:20 a.m. PST

Well, there is the boardgame that is being kickstarted

Lion in the Stars13 May 2017 1:21 a.m. PST

And I believe that it's being run completely separate from Palladium, so there's a chance it will actually successfully be delivered if it funds.

But I'm not going to touch another Palladium-related KS, I'm still owed half of a Robotech KS.

ced110614 May 2017 2:26 a.m. PST

The RIFTS boardgame KS was cancelled. The creator and collaborators have a long history with Palladium in one way or another (as staff or freelance writers). The creator has no project management experience and made a suicide attempt after he posted on the Robotech KS forums inflammatory remarks while promoting his project.

Don't do that.

Lion in the Stars18 May 2017 3:26 a.m. PST

The RIFTS board game wasn't canceled after the suicide attempt, the man decided to proceed with the KS after his release from the hospital.

The board game was canceled because it wasn't anywhere near funding (shame, but understandable).

My guess is that the Robotech Tactics KS has so poisoned the Palladium name on KS that nothing else with the Palladium name is going to fund. Ever.

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