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Thursday, June 13, 2013

What if the Transformers had landed of Rifts Earth?

I've been on a bit of a writing hiatus, but this week I started thinking about a new series of articles I thought I could write for RPG4EVR. Being a person with a very open mind, and a long-time fan of the Marvel comic book "What if..." series, I decided that this would be an interesting direction to go. Please enjoy the inaugural post of my "What if..." series.

What if the Transformers had landed of Rifts Earth?

We all know the story well. A group of sentient, alien robots leave their dieing planet in search of a new home and they happen to find Earth. Those who grew-up in the 80's... like myself... remember the cartoon and comic books. I'm sure that few of the "younger" generations even knew that there was already a Transformers movie well before Michael Bay came along.

While I must admit that I was never a huge fan, I did enjoy the cartoon series and I read some of the comics... mainly the crossovers with G.I. Joe. I even had some of the toys when I was younger. Like most kids of that era, they were played with until they were falling apart or destroyed as casualties of war involving firecrackers.

These day's, there are more people who know the Transformers only from Michael Bay's movies. For those people, I lament that they don't have a rich and full understanding of the actual Transformers. Sure, the cartoon and comics were specifically designed to help sell the toys, but I'm sure that the toys and subsequent rise in popularity from the movies didn't hurt Hasbro.

In 1990, the role playing community was introduced to the first real multi-genre RPG, Rifts. This game made it possible to bring aspects of all the other Palladium games under a single umbrella. In the base setting, you have your fantasy and sci-fi elements all in one. From dragons to aliens and everything in between, Rifts made so much possible. I think it also opened a Pandora's box.

Now, try to imagine the aforementioned sentient, alien robots landing not in 1980's America, but rather the Earth of Rifts with those previously mentioned dragons and aliens. The Autobots landing in North America. Would they side with the Coalition? How would their presence change the landscape of Rifts? Would the Decepticons ally themselves with creatures like the Splugorth?

Maybe the original Megatron was the concept basis for Glitterboy armor. Could you imagine Spike (from the cartoon) or Sam (from the Bay movies) wearing something like this:

I wonder if the Decepticons would find a way to convert the magical energies from leylines into energon.

I invite my readers to post their comments on how they would see this "What if..." played out. Since there isn't a currently licensed Transformers RPG, how would you attempt to run this type of setting?

I would also like to invite readers to post their own "What if..." questions that they'd like to see posted about.


  1. For those who may be unfamiliar with the Rifts setting, I would invite you to check-out my Palladium "System's We Play" article.

  2. I have always thought that Rifts was Over powered and really not a game i would like to play. However i have many times and found it to be exactly what i thought, an op'ed game. I love Robotech, and Mech and Cyborgs, and damn near every idea that Palladium had come out with but mixing Mega versus normal or whatever its called is what turned me away from it. Gurps on the other hand had a way of eliminating the OP'ered gaming style and made everything balanced, well a little bit more that is.
    Now Transformers set in the Rifts world, they would most likely be destroyed or forced to flee. The Coalition would not accept either side as they are not "True" Humans, and the Atlantians would, from what i know of them, either destroy them or convert them.
    Maybe the wild west, were boom guns go boooom, now that is something i think would be awesome. Optimis Prime wearing boots and a cowboy hat, with the good bad and the ugly blasting in the background, yeah i can see that.

  3. I suspect the raw magical power of the earth at that point..would reflect alot of energon..and they would be stupid Galactic Knight Level of Powerful.

    They wouldnt be able to interact..they would just have to set up their own empire that was at war with all sides. it would be an insane conflict, coalition trying to destroy them..atlantis trying to absorb them...dragons trying to push them off their world... would be a mess.

    1. It would be like if robotech invaded the earth..en masse.

  4. Working on a Transformers Sourcebook for Rifts. Anyone want a copy?
    I love the idea of Transformers in Rifts. The idea has a lot of potential. TF Altmode would let them blend in anywhere, like in Coalition and NGR regions. PPE and Ley Line could be used to produce Energon, and Ley Line Nexus points could be used to create a new kind of dimensional Space Bridge!


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