The next character in our Rifts write up is F’arlum, the Ley Line Walker. In Rifts, the ley LIne Walker is the traditional or classic magic user through the filter of the Ley Lines of magical energy that have surged back into the world. To start with our stat rolls that became F’arlum, we have IQ – 17, ME – 18, MA – 14, PS – 10, PP – 11, PE – 13, PB – 13, and Spd – 14. With some truly good fortune, that IQ of 17 became a 22 and the ME of 18 became a 23. He doesn’t roll any random psionic abilities, and I didn’t select the Mystic O.C.C. that blends magic and psionics so his ISP is a normal human range and his Hit Points start at 13. As a Ley LIne Walker, though, he has an astounding 93 P.P.E. from which he will power his spells. Rifts also includes Structural Damage Capacity, or S.D.C., to reflect non-life threatening injuries and as a non “Man of Arms” O.C.C., he starts with 4D6 S.D.C. to start, or 13.
The special abilities of the Ley Line Walker are all tied to the Ley Lines that criss-cross the planet with magical energy. Specifically, this means that he can sense ley lines, sense ley line nexuses, sense rifts at those nexuses, as well as generally sense magic and P.P.E. Additionally, a Ley Line Walker has the ability to transmit messages across ley lines, sense the direction and destinations of those ley lines, pull energy from the ley line to heal himself or drift along it, and even teleport further down the ley line. This is a significant set of abilities that can really be used to enhance an adventure and the ability to transport across the ley line is a great way to get further along a story literally as well as figuratively.
Turning to skills, a Ley Line Walker does not have as many skills as other characters because they are the pre-eminent magic using O.C.C. The O.C.C. skills are pretty contained to general utility skills liked climbing, basic math, and a few few languages. In fleshing out F’arlum, I first wanted to add a few literacy skills in both American and Dragonese. As someone with markedly high intelligence, I looked to adding Faerie Lore, Archaeology, and Astronomy to his Other skills. Secondary skills included a handful of weapon proficiencies because a fight will inevitably happen, Preserve Food for his background, Art because he needs an outlet and a character hook, and finally Pilot Jet Pack because a jetpack wearing magic using character throwing spells around is just cool to me.
Ley Line Walkers start with three (3) spells from each spell level 1-4 for a total of 12 starting spells. Because I wanted to make a little bit of a classic mage, I tried to cover a lot of the “expected” spells in the list. First, I will note that the Fourth Level spell Fire Bolt was an immediate choice because it is the sole ranged Mega Damage spell available to start. I added the Third Level Energy Bolt spell for the SDC equivalent to use for direct offense. With that out of the way, indirect offense choices went to Level 1’s Blinding Flash and Thunder clap, Level 2’s Befuddle; and Level 4’s Magic Net. On defense, I added Armor of Ithan from Third Level to create MDC armor for himself or others and turn dead for those pesky vampires that inhabit the Rifts world. The remaining were general utility, or just spells that I think are cool for a Ley Line walker – Globe of Daylight, Levitation, Telekinesis, and Astral Projection.
Starting with armor, the Urban Warrior medium armor is a great lighter suit for a Ley Line Walker balancing protection with weight. F’arlum has only a few weapons (since the spells will take care of most of it), so I chose the Triax TX-11 Sniper Rifle from the Rifts: Sourcebook because single aimed shots seem more likely for him and a Walther PPK pistol for an S.D.C. weapon. His equipment is almost entirely from the Rifts main book list of equipment for a Ley Line Walker. Looking at vehicles, the aforementioned Jet Pack gets involved for sure! The Wilks jetpack fulfills my mental image but I also tossed on a Technowizard Glider/Wing Board (Technowizardry is the blending of magic and technology primarily accomplished by the Technowizard O.C.C.) for him to use when gliding along a Ley Line.
Looking at Page 18 of the Rifts First Edition book, here are the results of the Optional random tables to round out the character:
Birth Order: First Born; Weight: Average; Height: Tall; Disposition: Schemer; gambler that likes to chances; Family Origin: D-Bee: human (or close to it), but parents came through a rift from another dimension; Type of Environment: Small wilderness town; Sentiments towards Coalition: Hates the Coalition. You have seen the Coalition in action and know them to be cruel and vindictive nor can you abide by the CS’s human supremacist attitude and horrible actions they inflict on non-humans; Sentiments towards Non-Humans: Is wary of demons, but has had mostly good experiences with non-humans and treats them as equals, without doubt or suspicion.
In the next section, these will be worked into F’arlum’s character description
It’s hard to always explain that you are not from around here. F’arlum looks like every other human on the planet, but he isn’t. He came through a rift with his parents as a baby … but he doesn’t know his place of birth. His parents were running from something, and stepping through a glowing magical gateway to Earth was the good escape. As with so many others, though, his life on Earth has been anything but easy.
For a while, things seemed fine. His parents settled into a small wilderness town in what was the Rust Belt of the United States Pre-Rifts. His skills reflect that combination of being an outsider and a wilderness living – He learned to preserve food to stretch the supplies and his parents taught him Astronomy and Archaeology to help piece together where they were and how it came to be what it is. Their background from another dimension means that he has insight in the D-Bees called demons and as to the Faerie. In this strange new planet that his family called home, he also felt a stirring, a calling, a veritable power that would surge through him periodically – he was a latent Ley Line Walker.
All this changed when the Coalition States began to look at their home as a place of expansion. Despite being somewhat removed from Coalition States sphere of influence, the rust belt’s proximity to Tolkeen meant that more and more attention was paid to it by “exploratory patrols” of Coalition Dead Boys. The simplest of acts, asking the troopers not to parade through town in heavy armor with weapons at the ready, brought a stinging rebuke. The village was razed for harboring subversives. The first hand experience crystallized F’arlum’s hatred of the Coalition as his father and many others died in the one-sided slaughter. He escaped with his mother, vowing revenge, and this set him on the path he is on today. Journeying into the magic zone, he found tutelage from the Federation of Magic – a group of magic users and psychics opposed to the Coalition States but little more than a terrorist organization giving the CS a boogie man to point at to justify their stance.
He learned the ways of the Ley Line Walker from the Federation and set out to increase his power and also to see what a single man of magic cold do to disrupt the Coalition. He had previously met RS and worked with him to take down a Coalition base in old Pennsylvania when he got a call that RS needed help running from Iron Heart. He heeded this call and found a motley crew that all had reason to take a stand against the Coalition, but first why were they so specifically being targeted by Iron Heart? F’arlum wanted to know, and he was in awe of Annie and her positive outlook she maintained despite years of mistreatment at the Coalition’s hands.
T-Ball’s Pack overview Here.
F’arlum – Ley Line Walker Character Sheet
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