Special Rulings

Special Rulings

Questions come up during and between games, which require rulings to adjudicate. This page attempts to collect all the special rulings decided between GM and Players when they have arisen.

Q. Can a mage absorb P.P.E. and hold it as described in the Q&A section of the Rifts: Book of Magic?
A. Yes.

Q. Can the spell Retro-Viewing be used to allow additional attempts to learn a spell from a scroll after a failed scroll conversion?
A. Yes, but only one additional try, and at only half the scroll conversion skill percentage.

Q. How does learning spells from scrolls work?
A. Two days must be spent per spell level, at the end of that time the caster rolls against their scroll translation percentage to see if learning the spell was successful. Roll upon the scroll translation failure table in Heroes Unlimited 2 if this roll is unsuccessful.

Q. Can wards from the level 10 Wards invocation be placed on projectiles and then thrown/shot at an opponent in an attempt to trigger their effect upon contact with the opponent?
A. No.

Q. Can Dimensional Portals be opened into and out of existing Dimensional Envelopes, allowing travel to and from that “dimension”?
A. Yes.

Q. Can a Mystic Portal be cast underneath a target, with the destination end floating in the air above them, such that the target falls forever (or for the duration of the spell)?
A. No.

Q. Can a Mystic Portal be opened through the ground beneath a target in order to make them fall into a smooth-walled pit that is the standard 12 feet deep per level?
A. No, there has to be something on the other side of the Mystic Portal to create a passageway to or else the spell won’t work.

Q. If a Character is within a Dimensional Envelope or a Time Hole that is at or near a ley line, can the character draw on the Ley Line energy while within those spaces?
A. Definitely not.

Q. If a character with the Sense Time psionic power entered a place where time moved differently, would he be automatically aware of that fact?
A. If the character already had Sense Time running before entering, then yes. If the character didn’t activate the power until they were already in that place, then they would remain unaware of the time flow difference until they left.

Q. Does the Metamorphosis: Superior spell provide the user with enhanced strength or other features?
A. No, only the natural abilities of normal creatures, and only the appearance of supernatural ones. The users stats remain unchanged.

Q. A spell caster can cancel an active spell at any time (except for when the spell description says otherwise). If a caster cancelled an active Dimensional Envelope or Dimensional Pocket spell while someone or something was in it, what would happen?
A. Anything that is in a Dimensional Pocket would immediately appear in the dimension or on the plane to which the pocket was “anchored”. Anyone / anything in an Envelope when the spell is cancelled or its duration elapses is lost to the infinite void/nothingness between dimensions. Beings which can dimensionally teleport or travel will be able to escape back to a known dimension.

Q. If a being is unconscious, do they still get to make a save versus spell when a spell is cast against them?
A. Yes.

Q. If a Dimensional Envelope is created from within a Dimensional Envelope, and the first Dimensional Envelope is destroyed/cancelled/duration ends, what happens to the second Dimensional Envelope?
A. The second Dimensional Envelope remains in existence, but is no longer linked to any dimension or place where one can “walk into” it. The only way to enter or leave that Dimensional Envelope will be to use a Dimensional Teleport power, Dimensional Portal, or similar magic or ability.

Q. When in a dimension that has a non-standard rate of time flow (such as those created by a Time Hole or Wink Out spell), will any Dimensional Envelopes or Dimensional Pockets created from those places share the same time flow? What about when those temporary dimensions cease to exist? How does that affect the duration of those spells?
A. The Dimensional Pocket or Envelope will share the same rate of time flow as the dimension it was linked to when created. When those dimensions cease to exist, the Dimensional Pocket or Envelope will still retain those time flow rates. The duration of any spell cast from a place with a non-standard rate of time flow will be relative to that time flow, not the “normal” time flow.

Q. Can I cast a Time Hole spell from within a Time Hole spell? Do the time flow multipliers stack? For example, will a Time Hole spell (time increase × 6) cast from within another Time Hole spell (time increase × 6) result in a total time flow increase (relative to the normal/standard rate) of × 36.
A. Yes.
A. (REVISED) This has been updated to no longer allow temporally enhancing multipliers to stack. Any Dimensional Envelopes / Pockets created using the original ruling are maintained but all future Envelopes / Pockets are subject to the revised ruling.

Q. If a Dimensional Envelope or Dimensional Pocket are created while within the effects of a Time Slip spell, is there any effect on the time flow rate (or lack thereof) within those spaces?
A. No, the time flow rate will be normal in those spaces.

Q. How do the rules for how long a spell takes to cast in Rifts: Ultimate Edition combine with the Rifter #30 skill of Spell Focus: Burst Casting?
A. Upon a successful Principles of Magic roll (as outlined on page 30 of Rifter #30), AND THE EXPENDITURE OF +50% PPE, spells level 1-10 will successfully be cast in one melee action, while spells level 11-15 and spells of legend will successfully be cast in two melee actions. The use of this skill does not affect the casting time of level 1-5 spells.

Q. Can the spell “Attune Object to Owner” on an object be dispelled through a successful use of the Dispel Magic spell?
A. Yes.

Q. If a person summoned through the Id Self spell attempts to use an item which has been “Attuned to Owner” for the Id Self spell caster, will the duplicate be able to use the item?
A. Yes.

Q. Does the spell “Circle of Travel” work between two points in different dimensions?
A. No, both circles must exist in the same dimension for the spell to work.

Q. Sanctum: Does the ability to keep out “Lesser Monsters (unless they save versus magic)” affect a demigod (Supernatural Being), Sowki (Creature of Magic) and aliens with Supernatural Attributes? It says it does not affect Greater beings and humans. The spell also says the Mage “cannot be found by the Calling or Locate spell, can not be seen by Second Sight or a Crystal Ball, and can not be affected by bonding magic” while in this room. Does that hold true for any method of mystically seeing/locating him while he’s in there? Does that protect just the mage while in the room, or any human/being who is in there? Does that affect (prevent) the Shifter’s ability to open a communication rift to him? Is there a limit to the number of Sanctums a character can have, like one per dimension or only one at all?
A. Sanctum effects a demigod — lesser SN creature, not a Sowki (Creature of Magic) and NOT an alien with supernatural attributes. The “off-the-grid” effect as we call it basically encompasses almost EVERY form of magical / psionic means — except link to familiar / link to SN for a shifter / link through blood pact / and some other things… but basically everything. This ONLY effects the mage paying the activation cost of the sanctum. Yes, it prevents the Shifter from even knowing where the caster is (when in the Sanctum) to open the comm rift. You can have any number of Sanctums in one realm unless the spell explicitly goes against this.

Q. Does the D-Step spell create a tear in reality which leads some sort of sub-dimension, where the traveler/caster can have free reign? Like a “background” or “behind-the-scenes” dimension under the normal dimension?
A. No. It just creates a little pocket/hole in the current dimension which removes those who step through the rip from reality temporarily. Everything within is ejected when the duration ends.

Q. Can a scroll of “Create Scroll” be created?
A. No.

Q. Can a scroll of the Shifter ability to open a RIFT (RUE p.121-123) be created?
A. No.

Q. Can magic specializations and foci be imprinted in a spell that is in a scroll?
A. No. The Principles of Magic skill roll may be made and ANY adjustments to the CASTING are made for the CASTER. Reduced PPE cost, reduced casting time, and etc. are discounted based on the Principles of Magic skill. The scroll DOES NOT carry over any other aspects of the spell ASIDE FROM LEVEL — it will not retain double-damage, double-duration, increased spell strength (aside from level-based), and all the other potential properties of spells cast using the Rifter #30 rules.

Q. Can a player simultaneously attack more than once per melee round? Can he do so against a ranged attack?
A. Any player / NPC may simultaneously attack instead of defending (strike roll above 4 hits) so long as he has actions to burn. A ranged attack that is within melee range may be simultaneously attacked. This does NOT take the place of his next action like dodge.

Q. How many separate attackers may enter melee combat with one person? Can their attacks all be parried? Dodged?
A. Four combatants may enter “normal” melee range to surround a “normal” sized person. Three separate attackers may be parried in melee combat. Long-range melee weapons (polearms, spears, poleaxes, etc.) will increase the number of combatants who may enter melee combat.

A. Giants and giant-sized boss mobs may be surrounded by more attackers than the standard four. In this case the giant-being may parry those WITHIN LINE OF SIGHT.

A. An attack may be defended from “behind” if the defender has the opportunity to turn and is AWARE of the attack coming from behind unless he has an ability like the Juicer or the Splicer Dreadguard motion-sensing hairs. The defender is unaware. Attack comes from behind. No defense. The defender is AWARE. Attack comes from behind. Attacker may TURN to defend. He however now leaves himself open to other attacks he might have turned away from (ie. being shot in the back from far away, getting sneaked up on — doesn’t know that’s coming). If there’s two dudes on opposite sides of you turning to fight each dude is tougher — have you ever fought two guys on opposite sides of you? It’s fuckin’ tough.

Q. Is the Juicer ability to auto-dodge attacks aimed at him from behind similar to the Splicers Dreadguard motion-sensing hairs?
A. For the purposes of this game they act the same. It specifically says in the motion-sensing hairs description that it is impossible to surprise the Dreadguard with this ability active. He can still be surprised by a silent, non-kinetic long-range attack — like a laser from a mile out.

Q. How does Hand-to-Hand Magic really work?
A. It is a fan creation and it completely fucks up normal combat. That’s the abridged version. The specifics are described below:
A. (REVISED) Hand-to-Hand Magic is no longer an option for PCs or NPCs in this campaign. Any characters created with the original ruling are allowed to keep it but no future characters will have access to it.

OFFENSIVE SPELLS used to PARRY only hit the attack and DO NOT DO DAMAGE TO THE ATTACKER — as such they don’t require a saving throw or a roll to strike — ONLY A ROLL TO PARRY, expenditure of PPE, and APPROPRIATE SPELL. You cannot parry with a Domination. You cannot parry with an Armor of Ithan. You cannot parry with a Fly as the Eagle. Etc. You can parry with a projectile spell (call lightning, fireball, fire bolt, etc.) that doesn’t require a saving throw ANYWAY.

HtH Magic gives different bonuses to strike, parry, and dodge and I would like to keep things simple. Dodge rolls are made for the casting of spells that would avoid the damage — armor of ithan, armor bizarre, invulnerability, etc and they cost an action. Parry rolls are made for the casting of spells that would act like a parry — offensive but NOT damaging the opponent and not costing an action. The way it’s written in the book — every spell regardless what is rolled (parry, dodge, entangle, etc.) costs an action. Entangle uses an action and casts spells like carpet of adhesion, magic net, etc.

Q. How does a being with four arms and Paired Weapons act in combat?
A. Paired Weapons in a four-armed creature allows you to strike and parry normally provided each set of arms is dual-wielding (four weapons instead of 3). Simultaneous attack-parry with dual weapons still takes one attack per simultaneous attack — it just means you don’t sacrifice your chance to parry to do so.

Q. The D-Shifter abilities that allow him to know if a being is from this dimension, see through metamorphosis, and pierce illusions can be summed up by the following:

Metamorphosis:
- Instead of seeing though the ability he just knows what it is. For example, he knows it’s a dragon but he still sees what ever it is morphed into.
- For the spell, a similar approach, but he gets a save vs magic and otherwise would be unaware of what it is. A successful roll let him know that it is morphed, but not what it actually is.

Possession:
- A possessing entity that is anchored to the dimension via the link is visible – he will see the host, and the possessing entity floating just behind it…OR see the LINK if the possessing entity is on another plane of existence.
- Ghosts/Aliens/Gods/Elementals/Vampires (beings not of this world who use an ability instead of a spell to possess) can be spotted.
- Cases in which the host is not an anchor are not visible by this ability. For example, the D-Shifter wouldn’t know if someone is psionically possessed or under the influence of the spell Domination (which is not a possession anyway).

Q. The D-Shifter can replicate any temporal / dimensional magic / spell / ability / etc.
A. What the fuck does THAT mean?

He can duplicate any dimensional magic spell that he either witnesses the traditional casting for or is the target of.

Example, Pall Mall opens a communication Rift (spell) TO Xander — Xander can do it for 10 minutes to whomever he wants.

Example, a Raksasha demon dimensionally teleports in front of Xander — Xander can NOT do it because it was an innate ability. If the demon had cast the spell “Dimensional Teleport” Xander can replicate that.

Example, that same Raksasha demon uses a talisman of Time Slip in front of Xander — Xander can NOT do it because the spell was not actually being cast — it was previously cast and stored in the talisman. Bear in mind “witness” or “be the target of” can mean a lot of things but it says “spells” and that’s kinda important. It’s an incredible ability already because he doesn’t have to pay the full cost of whatever spell he’s witnessing — and some of these spells are 1000 P.P.E. or even 1500!

Q. The D-Shifter ability to “straddle” dimensions means…?
A. It means that the people in charge of editing and play-testing the game material before it is released didn’t do their fucking job.

D-Shifters are straddling two dimensions at once. It’s kind of like he was going to the Astral plane, but didn’t completely go over yet. He would remain vulnerable to Astral beings or other Astral Travelers. Also to note, the other plane as it were, doesn’t have to be the Astral. It can be Splicers and Rifts if he so chose and it would have to be in the same place. Say he’s in Lazlo in Rifts, his other foot would be where Lazlo would be in Splicers. He remains intangible, but still vulnerable to the Astrals in EITHER dimension.

Q. The D-Shifter ability to become light means…?
A. Being literally light, and with no way to transport things as such, he can go anywhere light can except deep space. It doesn’t say just how bright he is or how bright he can get other than the “Searchlight” ability that says it can shine for 600ft, is a 20ft radius, and is at the power of a 300W light bulb.

Q. The Combat Magic spell Mystic Invisibility is available to all practitioners of magic who can cast regular incantations?
A. Yes.

Q. The spell Mystic Invisibility prevents the user from being detected by any magical or psionic means. How can he be detected if he also uses Invisibility: Superior?
A. A mage can still be detected by scent, chemicals, and pheromones.

REVISED Q. Does spell Mystic Invisibility have any drawbacks?
REVISED A. The drawbacks are the P.P.E. cost of the spell and being level 7 requires 2 apm to cast without a hastening affect. The caster may have his use of P.P.E. masked for the duration of the spell regardless of the actions he takes — even if they are hostile.

Q. Can the spell Teleport: Lesser be used to teleport an object into solid matter (another object, a person, etc.?
A. No. However Teleport: Lesser may not be used on organic matter and there is no saving throw since the spell is still subject to a percentile roll. Note: Rune items, magical weapons, items, amulets, talismans, biomancer-armor, splicer-armor, bio-wizardry implants, wormwood parasites, etc. are all considered inanimate objects or non-organic objects for the purposes of this spell. They are still subject to the size-restrictions of the Teleport: Lesser spell.

Q. Can the spell Encase Object in Ice be used to freeze a target solidly? Does it work like a Flash Freeze grenade?
A. It will encase SMALL ITEMS in ice — that’s it. It does NOT work like a flash freeze grenade and does not cause Suspended Animation.

Q. We know M.D.C. creatures take Mega-Damage when they touch a Rune item whose alignment is incompatible (i.e., a good being touching an evil rune item). When an S.D.C. creature touches an incompatible weapon, is the damage they take Mega-Damage, or is it “standard” (non-M.D.) damage?
A. Per page 128 of Rifts World Book 2: Atlantis, the damage is S.D. for S.D.C. creatures and M.D. for M.D.C. creatures.

Q. Is there any way a spell caster can bring another person with him into a Time Hole?
A. No.

Q. How the fuck does Time Slip work?
A. It doesn’t. As a result of a year and a half of inconsistencies here is the re-worked version of the spell as a collaboration of the efforts of Dave, Dan, and Brent.

Time Slip

Range: Self.
Duration: Two melee attacks/actions. (costs one action to cast)
Saving Throw: None.
P.P.E.: Twenty.

This invocation twists, warps and perverts time around the spell caster, enabling him to slip into a still moment of the near future. Once he arrives the caster has a few seconds (two melee attacks/actions) until time catches up with him. In these seconds he may act; unseen and unknown to all those around him in this “frozen” moment of time. The magic is such that the character cannot physically hurt any living creature, but can move about the physical environment, open doors, grab an item, run, etc.

In game terms, the caster jumps forward in time by two melee attacks/actions. While he is gone the other characters play out those two actions as normal, keeping the same initiative order they had, as if the character who cast the spell had simply teleported away. In the third action since the spell was cast, on the caster’s initiative, the caster arrives (read: appears) and time for all the other characters is paused. The caster may now use two of his attacks/actions uninterrupted by anyone or anything else, subject to the restrictions noted earlier. Once those two actions have occurred then time resumes as per normal.

From the standpoint of all the other characters, the caster disappears and then a few seconds later suddenly reappears, possibly in a new location. In the instant when the caster appears perhaps some things in their surroundings instantly change as well, such as a door that was open is now closed, or someone who was running suddenly now has a large stool in front of them they need to avoid, etc.

Remember: Time is STOPPED when the character initially reappears so his interactions with things like electronics, computers, spells, and people are limited.

There is no limit to the number of times Time Slip may be cast; but it CANNOT be cast during the duration of (read: from within) a Time Slip. Time Slip may be cast on the caster’s LAST action of the melee round thereby giving him an extra two actions for that melee round (a net gain of 1 action since 1 action was used to cast the spell originally).

Other temporal manipulation spells may be cast but they are subject to the requirements of spell-casting actions. ANY spell the caster begins to cast from within the duration of a Time Slip continues to cast LIKE NORMAL with the only exception being that the character CAN be interrupted once he reappears (and the Time Slip is over). However, he may have moved unexpectedly or taken a position of cover making him a harder target to reacquire / relocate.

Any actions taken from within the Time Slip duration cannot be seen, known, or interrupted by anything living — including other temporal wizards; a Temporal Maelstrom is the only effective way of combating / neutralizing a Time Slip and even then only seasoned / veteran Temporal Wizards and Raiders have access to this spell and can recognize Time Slip when it is cast. Electronic recording devices cannot be fooled. Only during playback will the character completely disappear for the few seconds duration of Time Slip and reappear as the video time seemingly speeds up to catch up to him. This last bit is subject to GM discretion and storytelling technique.

Q. How does Anti-Magic Cloud Work?
A. Fuck you.
A. The radius of Anti-Magic Cloud CANNOT be controlled. It is a fixed size (100ft per level) and it is an immaterial magical / psychic cloud that passes through walls and solid matter is if it wasn’t even there.

Anti-Magic Cloud does not cancel any spells it only “suppresses” them. It cannot prevent Rune weapons or Techno-Wizard weapons from working. In the case of buff spells like Magical Adrenal Rush and Sorcerous Fury the penalties and fatigue associated with the after-effects of the spell DO NOT OCCUR until the spell duration elapses or the spells are Negated. Anti-Magic Cloud prevents the spells from being active and all benefits / bonuses are lost. It does not CANCEL or NEGATE the spells.

Q. Can Anti-Magic Cloud be dispelled?
A. It can be dispelled from outside the radius by anyone with a Negate Magic spell. It can be dispelled from inside the radius by anyone who has successfully SAVED against the Anti-Magic Cloud (natural 18-20).

Q. How do the spells Negate Magic and Dispel Magic Barriers work?
A. These spells attack other spells and require their target spell to roll a saving throw versus magic.

Negate Magic (Level 8 spell, 30 P.P.E.) – The spell being attacked adds its caster’s spell strength as a bonus to save versus magic. The caster of Negate Magic adds his spell strength as a bonus to the number required to save. Negate Magic can be used against ANY spell except possession, exorcism, constrain being, banishment, talisman, amulet, enchanted objects, circles of protection, summoning magic, zombies, golems, restoration, healing, or cures. It can be used in an attempt to dispel a curse but only gets a 25% chance to do so.

Dispel Magic Barriers (Level 7 spell, 20 P.P.E.) can be used only against walls, wards, Sorceror’s Seal, Carpet of Adhesion, Magic Net, and other forms of Crowd Control. This disadvantage is off-set by the fact that Dispel Magic Barriers has a much greater chance of success against the spells it was designed for (straight d20 die-roll 12 or better).

Q. Can Negate Magic be used to target specific spells / buffs on a person?
A. Yes, only after using both Lore: Magic and Principles of Magic (2 separate actions). See example below…

Example: Player (A) has buffed himself with Armor of Ithan, Invulnerability, Magical Adrenal Rush, and Fighting Spirit. The spells were cast on him in THAT order. When a Negate Magic is cast on that person Fighting Spirit is the first spell to be Negated. Like peeling layers of an onion, the last spell on is the first one to come off. If a successful Lore: Magic AND Principles of Magic are rolled (takes 2 actions) a specific spell may be targeted and Negated.

Q. How does the spell Carpet of Adhesion work?
A. It is cast-able on any “surface.” It cannot be WRAPPED AROUND A PERSON to incapacitate the person. If cast on a person it does NOT stick the person to himself butIts dimensions can be adjusted by the spell caster up to the maximum for the spell (20′×20′×10′).

Q. N&SS Martial Arts normally require a “weapon kata” in order to combine W.P. bonuses with the martial art bonuses. Can that requirement be dropped for this game, allowing ancient/HTH weapon proficiencies to provide their bonus alongside the martial art form’s bonuses?
A. (1/24/2014) that’s fine — please make a note that I said this — day, time, place, and post it on the boards…hehe!

Special Rulings

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