The first character in our Rifts write up is T-Ball, or Theresa Chandler, the Headhunter and de facto leader. To start with our stat rolls, we have IQ – 14, ME – 10, MA – 14, PS – 13, PP – 16, PE – 15, PB – 10, and Spd – 13. That 16 for P.P. becomes a 21 with the bonus die giving us a solid stat line for a primary combat character. She doesn’t roll any psionic abilities on our first random table, so her PPE and ISP are normal human range and her Hit Points start at 15. Rifts also includes Structural Damage Capacity, or S.D.C., to reflect non-life threatening injuries and as a “Man of Arms” O.C.C., she has 1D4x10 S.D.C. to start, or 30.
Turning to skills, if you check the attached character sheet below, you’ll see that Head Hunters have a lot of skills to start and they are primarily focused around combat including multiple Weapon Proficiency slots, Hand to Hand: Expert, and other skills you would expect. For her optional piloting skills, I wanted to have a power armor pilot, so I gave her Robot Combat Elite in the Northern Gun Samson Power Armor as well as Tanks because that may be helpful. In choosing her Other skills, Headhunters only get 4 so I looked at skills that may reflect a possible military background and selected Demolitions, Demolitions Disposal, and Intelligence. The final Other skill is Boxing because it provides significant bonuses to her physical stats, increased combat abilities, and cannot be selected as a Secondary skill. Her Secondary skills round out her interests but specifically include the general Robot Piloting skill to be able to hop into any form of Powered Armor and be able to use it, Paramedic, and the rare but often useful Literacy skill.
For gear, first we look at weapons and armor. With two separate suits of Mega Damage Capacity Armor, the best choices are hands down the Gladiator and the Crusader. The Gladiator is a heavy suit with significant protection but very few drawbacks and penalties that other heavy armor has while the Crusader looks like medieval armor but is a medium suit that doesn’t have any prowl penalty for sneaking around! For weapons, the Northern Gun focus also comes out and we look at the NG Ion Pistol, Heavy NG Particle Beam rifle, and the over-under NG Laser and Grenade Launcher combo. This is bolstered with a Triax built Pump Action explosive round TX-16 (from the Sourcebook) and a number of S.D.C. weapons for lighter action. Head Hunters also start with a few bionic and cybernetic components! The classic picture from the Rifts book shows a cybernetic arm, and I think that is a good fit. The added benefit is that the Bionic arm is strong enough to use the oversized NG Super Laser Pistol/Grenade Launcher without any penalties. We will add some S.D.C. forearm blades into the arm for a hand to hand weapon that isn’t M.D.C. The rest of the systems are great choices for overall effectiveness – the Cybernetic Advanced hearing provides some additional bonuses in combat and especially to Initiative while the Bionic Lung can prevent succumbing to gas attacks and the chemical spray gives her a lot of options for non-lethal payloads. Her general gear doesn’t need much in the way of tweaking but for vehicles she is going to get two. First, I mentioned that I wanted somebody to have a suit of powered armor in this group, so the NG Samson Heavy Infantry Power Armor is the way to go, complete with rail gun and mini-missiles. Second, to be able to carry it all around, she has a Big Boss A.T.V. that would normally seat for but is crammed full of this gear instead! For pictures and better descriptions, check the Rifts First Edition Book as indicated!
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: Second Born
- Weight: Husky (which makes sense for a Boxing trained soldier)
- Height: Average
- Disposition: Tough guy[gal], self-reliant, cocky, a lone wolf
- Family Origin: Earth native. Character is human
- Type of Environment: Small to medium city (which works into the Northern Gun backstory concept)
- Sentiments towards Coalition: Dislike and Distrust the Coalition. Well informed and know a lot about the CS’s philosophies, laws, and activities, and they seem to be pretty unjust if not outright evil
- Sentiments towards Non-Humans: Hates demons, but believes that all races can live and work in harmony together. Treats humans and non-humans equally but is a bit suspicious of creatures who are supernatural or whose appearance is extremely inhuman.
In the next section, these will be worked into T-Ball’s character description
Theresa Chandler was born just outside of Ishpeming, or Northern Gun, in the year 75 P.A.. She grew up idolizing and respecting her older brother, especially after her parents passed away when she was only 12 leaving her alone with Johnni to carry on. Johnni did his best but the sad truth of the world is that your best isn’t always enough. When she was 15, she was left alone in the world after her brother was killed in a freak Northern Gun weapons testing accident.
This hardened her and left her with the belief that she could only rely on herself. She misses her parents and her brother, but came to terms with the harsh reality that is the day-to-day struggle of Rifts Earth. It wasn’t long before she signed up with Ishpeming military – she didn’t have any real skills to sell and it was three square meals and a warm cot. Besides, she could get enough out of Northern Gun to make up for the loss of her brother. Maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise, but she excelled in her training leaning heavily on her firm belief that she was the only person she could trust in this world. Somewhere between 91 P.A. and 97 P.A., she left her service to Ishpeming taking with her the nickname “T-Ball”, training, some weapons, and a bionic arm she “earned”. It is hard to leave Northern Gun behind, even if you leave Ishpeming, and she still has contacts that she sends messages to on a regular basis.
As the Coalition began to mass troops and become more expansionist, she set her sights on the Coalition State of Iron Heart. For her own purposes, or maybe at the bidding of Northern Gun, she took jobs and explored the area around Iron Heart. During one of these expeditions, she ran directly afoul of Iron Heart, though she still won’t say what she was doing to earn their wrath. While trying to escape, she stumbled onto Jorj & Annie who were also poking around the Coalition State and their crimes became each others. On the run from a well organized military, she put a call out to Audacious Smith for some backup while Jorj had a Ley Line Walker who could lend a hand. A Wilderness Scout bristling from Iron Heart’s overbearing reach found them just as Iron Heart was going to catch them and that changed the tide of the battle. T-Ball ended up in charge for reasons that still escape her. Despite being uncomfortable with the leadership role, she has taken charge of keeping this “pack” of people away from Iron Heart’s clutches while they try to work out just what has made them a high profile public enemy of one of the most powerful nation-states on the Continent all the while keeping her secrets close to her chest.
T-Ball’s Pack overview Here.
T-Ball – Headhunter Character Sheet
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