RIFTS: Adventure Party
Character Creation Guide
Create your Concept: think about what you are (human, dog-mutant, dragon, space alien, dwarf, scaled
bird-man, super-intelligent lizard, &c) and what you do (spy, bounty hunter, gunfighter, giant robot
pilot, wizard, a different kind of wizard, a third kind of wizard, doctor, ninja, &c.)
IQ – Intelligence (mostly gives you a bonus to skills)
ME – Mental Endurance; your ability to withstand trauma and psychic attack.
MA – Mental Affinity; the intangible part of Charisma. Your ability to lead, convince, persuade.
PS – Physical Strength; your ability to lift and carry. Also gives you a bonus to damage.
PP – Physical Prowess; your agility. Also gives you a bonus to strike and dodge.
PE—Physical Endurance; your ability to endure physical harm. Also the basis for your Hit Points.
PB – Physical Beauty; the physical part of Charisma. Your ability to charm or seduce things that have
similar standards of beauty to the kind that you embody.
Spd – Speed. Your ability to move at a speed.
For HUMANS: Roll 3D6. If you get an 18, roll and additional D6. Add it all up for each attribute.
For EVERYONE ELSE: The entry for your race will tell you what to roll for each attribute, or it will give
you bonuses to apply.
Attributes are considered above average if they’re above 11; they’ll give you a BONUS if they’re above
Hit points: this is your actual amount of literal physical health. For HUMANS, take your PE score as your
base hit points, and add 1D6 per level of experience, including the first. For EVERYONE ELSE, the entry
or your race will tell you.
SDC: This is a vague kind of ability to withstand incidental damage – bruising, rattling, small cuts and so
forth that you might experience but that don’t immediately threaten your health. Your OCC (job) will
tell you how much SDC you get.
MDC: Humans don’t have this, but other races sometimes do; it stands in place of both Hit Points and
SDC, and is usually governed by your race, but sometimes your job.
PPE: This is Potential Psychic Energy. Unless you are a wizard, you won’t need this, and may not even
know about it. It’s usually 3D6 for a regular person.
ISP: These are Inner-Strength Points, and used to fuel psionics. If you are not psychic, you don’t have
these. If you ARE psychic, this will be determined by your OCC or PCC.
There are seven alignments, in three categories of Good, Selfish, and Evil, and are mostly familiar:
Principled – you are Good and Rule-Abiding. You will do things only if they are good, and only if they are
legal and/or within the scope of a strict moral code.
Scrupulous – You are Good, but not Rule-Abiding. You will do things only if they are good, but you will
break or bend rules to serve good ends.
Unprincipled – you are Selfish, but mostly good. You will do things if they are good and serve your
personal interests, or if they are bad, but not too bad, and you think they will lead to good ends. You
are not worried about laws.
Anarchist – you are Selfish. You will do things that serve your interests, with little regard for whether
they are good or bad, legal or illegal, but you will probably not do things that are too bad.
Aberrant – you are Evil, but still rule abiding. You will do some things that are evil, but not if they violate
your personal code of ethics.
Miscreant – you are Evil, and a jerk. You will do anything, good or bad, as long as it serves your personal
interest, but you probably will not bother doing bad things that don’t serve your personal interests.
Diabolic – you are Very Evil. You will do anything, good or bad, as long as it serves your own desires,
and you have a good chance of doing something bad even if there is no obvious benefit to it.
There are three kinds of Jobs: OCC (occupational character class), RCC (racial character class) and PCC
(psychic character class). These determine your SDC, your skills, and certain other benefits. OCC is a
basic job; RCC is the job that comes with being part of a race – some races (like Elves) just have regular
jobs, but for others (Dragons) the race is also the job. PCC is for powerful psychics – the cost of
developing your powerful psychic powers means you can’t have a regular job, you can only get a limited
number of skills associated with this class.
(There are many kinds of magic-users, and mostly they are OCC’s.)
Anyway, pick a job. The job will tell you your SDC and give you a list of
1. Skills that you start with, plus a bonus – add the skill’s basis and the bonus and your IQ bonus to
get your starting level.
2. Other skills, that you get to pick, along with bonuses for some. As above.
3. Secondary skills that you get to pick, but only get your IQ bonus.
Skills have a basis and an experience modifier (i.e.: 40% plus 5% level of experience). You don’t get the
modifier on the first level. When you want to practice the skill, roll PERCENTAGE DICE. If you roll under,
Some skills have REQUIREMENTS, that you must have if you want to take them, unless they’re part of
your starting skill set. Occasionally, skills will overlap; generally if you have one you don’t need the
other, and vice versa. Some skills are PHYSICAL skills, which, in addition to being a skill, also sometimes
give attribute bonuses. These bonuses are cumulative.
You can get new skills at higher levels (your OCC will tell you when); they start as first level skills.
Pick all these skills, there may be a lot. In RIFTS there is no Common language, though in America,
American is fairly common. Furthermore, LITERACY is not included with learning a language, and many
people in RIFTS are not literate even in their native language.
The OCC may also give you other benefits, including attribute bonuses or special abilities.
Your OCC will also tell you what gear you start with.
UNLIKE in some other RPGs, the RIFTS skill system is extremely broad and robust, so it’s possible and
sometimes even necessary to build a character that has more skills than they are good at fighting.
HOWEVER skills also include forms of Hand-to- Hand Combat and Weapon Proficiencies. Your OCC
usually starts with one or two WPs. It sometimes – but may not – starts with Hand-to- Hand Combat.
You will need these things to effectively use a weapon.
Some people have psychic powers even if they’re not a Psychic Character Class. If you have a regular job
and it does NOT include psychic powers already, you can roll on this table:
1-10% Major Psionics: Select eight powers from any one category (except Super), or six powers from
two or three categories. Your ISP is your ME 1 per level of experience.
11-25% Minor Psionics: Select two powers from any one category (except Super). Your ISP is your ME
+2D6, plus 1D6 per level of experience.
26-00% No Psionics: You are not psychic. Sorry.
Some races have INNATE MAGICAL ABILITIES, or a racial knowledge of certain spells. Check your race for
that. Humans don’t, so if you’re a human and you want to do magic, you will need to pick a Wizard OCC
– there are a bunch!
Some OCC’s include a number of cybernetic implants that you can choose. Cybernetics generally
interfere with magic and psionics, so wizard and psychic classes don’t take them. Some races adamantly
oppose cybernetics, and some cannot use them because they have the ability to regenerate. Some
OCC’s transform a person partially or completely into a cyborg with robot limbs and everything! Unless
your OCC says so, you do not start with any cybernetics, and will have to buy them in game on your own.
Make up a bunch of stuff, I guess. The world is an apocalyptic hellscape filled with transdimensional
monsters, vampires, space aliens, mutants, wizards, genocidal cyborgs, dinosaurs, and so forth. The
most significant political organization in the Midwest is the Coalition States, a federation of human-
supremacist Nazis who are trying to bring order to the world by eradicating everything else; whatever
else you know about the world, you probably know about them, and you probably have strong opinions
You ALMOST CERTAINLY know about monsters from space and/or other dimensions, and PROBABLY
know about magic and psychic powers, even if you don’t have them. How much you know and what
you think of them is up to you! Some people think magic is the next phase of humanity; some people
think it needs to be wiped out. Some people just aren’t going to worry about that right now, they have
too much going on.