Savage Rifts reenergized my interest in Rifts. While it comes across as a gonzo setting, I like to think of my Rifts like a reboot of an old property. Like the old Battlestar Galactica to new Battlestar Galactica. Or like the Wizard of Oz to the new Emerald City.
So when I think about how I would do Rifts, I imagine North America to be largely a Western where most people outside the main cities live a frontier or low tech existence.
Two sources of inspiration are East of West and The Postman, both the movie and the book.
East of West is series from Image Comics written by Jonathan Hickman and drawn by Nick Dragotta. Its described as a science fiction Western. The mix of high tech and low tech, as well as the supernatural elements are what influence my idea of Rifts game.
Images like this fuel my Rifts…
And like this….
The Postman, the movie, makes reinforces the idea of America reverting to a frontier era after a form of apocalypse. Small communities, remnants of technology, most places go back to farming communities. The Holnists come across as a low tech version of the Coalition.
Now The Postman, the book by David Brin, also serves as inspiration for my Rifts game. Why? Juicers and cyborgs. That’s right. While I’m taking license with the material, there is a good example of a juicer and a cyborg in the book.
So when I imagine my game, or fanfic, of Rifts, I see a town from a Western where unusual looking strangers ride in on horseback, perhaps carrying a particle accelerator rifle, trotting past an armored personnel carrier.