Rifts – Vampire Kingdoms by Kevin Siembieda. RPG review

RIFTS – VAMPIRE KINGDOMS by Kevin Siembieda, Palladium Books £16.99

Reviewed by Steve Dean

Vampire kingdoms is a revised edition of the original from 1991, brought dragging and almost certainly screaming, into the 21st century. And what a tome it is, packed from cover to cover, 224 pages of tiny print.

Everything you ever wanted to know, and then some, is packed into this book. From the usual stake-through-the-heart and holy symbols, to more modern stuff like the use of laser weapons.

There are also chapters on; playing a vampire character, strengths and weaknesses, vampire powers, magic, and a whole selection of anti-vampire weapons. My favourite is the anti-vampire rail gun, which shoots bursts of wooden flechettes. If I was hunting the little suckers I’d want to keep my distance.

The second half of the book deals with the kingdom of the title. Mexico, it seems, is an ideal place for vampires, and they have set up their own realm down there. The main towns and cities are described, as well as the major players, good and bad, gangs, organisations and maps. The wealth of detail is staggering, and covers everything you’ll need to do justice to a whole vampire campaign.

I must admit to a soft spot for the Palladium crew, they are so keen. Obviously gamers, who write for other gamers for the love of it. This shines through in the material. Ok, the internal artwork is all monochrome, but this isn’t a high art fantasy book, this is a rules book, and what it’s full of is rules.

The only down side is the lack of a hard cover, a book like this really needs one if it isn’t going to end up a tatty, beer-stained mess.

In summary, if you only buy one vampire source book this year, or ever, buy this one.