Palladium’s FRPG launched the company and served as its flagship game before Rifts. James Maliszewski, on his Grognardia blog, discussed The Palladium Role-Playing Game in the context of the Old School Revival: “Re-reading the game recently, I was struck less by its specific affinity with D&D and more by its connection to Old School design principles more generally. The Palladium Role-Playing Game is not one that frets about ‘balance’ or shies away from ‘swinginess’ or any of the other buzzwords of contemporary RPG design. This is a game very much in the mold of the early days of the hobby, a joyous goulash, equal parts randomness and brilliance, that wasn’t tailored to provide a particular kind of play experience. It’s a toolbox, filled with more than any single referee could ever possibly need for a single campaign; but, since its designer doesn’t know — let alone mandate — what each referee might need, he includes it all and allows the referee to pick and choose as he wishes. […] When Dungeons & Dragons was abandoning the Old Ways, Palladium was still there, keeping the faith and providing gamers with the kind of stuff that first attracted me to the hobby in the first place.”
1. PALLADIUM FANTASY 2E [all-new]The 1996 Second Edition featured in this Palladium Fantasy 2E Bundle retrofitted a few rules systems Kevin Siembieda introduced in later games such as Rifts: Structural Damage Capacity (SDC) for living characters, Potential Psychic Energy (PPE, psionics spell points), and other changes that improve compatibility with other Palladium game lines.
A 16-month “Let’s Read Palladium Fantasy 2nd Edition” thread on the RPG.net Tabletop Roleplaying Open forum got only as far as page 115 of the 2E core rulebook, but the discussion drew 400+ posts from many deeply informed commenters. This offer presented the book that inspired them, plus a dozen supplements and sourcebooks, for an unbeatable bargain price.
There were six titles in this new offer’s Starter Collection (retail value $71.50) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete Palladium Fantasy RPG Second Edition corebook; the supplements Heart of Magic, Monsters and Animals 2E, and Dragons & Gods 2E; and the setting books The Western Empire and Library of Bletherad.
Those who paid more than this offer’s threshold (average) price also got this offer’s entire Bonus Collection with ten more setting sourcebooks worth an additional $125, including Baalgor Wastelands, Bizantium and the Northern Islands, Eastern Territory, both Land of the Damned sourcebooks (Chaos Lands and Eternal Torment), Mount Nimro, Northern Hinterlands, and Wolfen Empire. After launch we added the Second Editions of two vintage 1E sourcebooks: Old Ones and Adventures on the High Seas.
2. PALLADIUM FRPG 1E
This resurrected August 2017 Palladium FRPG 1E Bundle had the First Edition core rulebooks and early supplements, all fully compatible with the 2E rules. Remember the “Let’s Read 2E” RPG.net forum thread mentioned above? In January 2019 that thread inspired a similar close reading of 1E, “Let’s Read The Palladium Roleplaying Game, AKA Palladium Fantasy First Edition.” This exhaustive paragraph-by-paragraph summary reached (brace yourself) 1,183 posts, some as recent as last May; the thread is probably longer than the rulebook itself. Even so, the undertaking reached only page 208 of the 278-page corebook.
[from August 2017]
The takeaway is, the Palladium system inspires a lot of discussion. This revived offer showed what everyone was talking about — it encompassed much of the 1E line. This revived offer’s Starter Collection (retail value $71.50) included The Palladium Fantasy Role-Playing Game Revised Edition core rulebook, the Fantasy Game Master Kit, and Game Shield, plus Book VI: Island at the Edge of the World, the early adventure The Arms of Nargash-Tor, and two sets of Paper Miniatures with standup figures for every Occupational Character Class.
This offer’s Bonus Collection added seven more First Edition titles worth an additional $60.50 that vastly expand the range of characters, the world, and the scope for adventure: Book II: Old Ones, Book III: Adventures on the High Seas, Book IV: Adventures in the Northern Wilderness, Book V: ‘Further’ Adventures in the Northern Wilderness, and Book VII: Yin-Sloth Jungles, plus two more sets of Paper Miniatures with figures for all the Monster Races and for NPC encounters. (This offer’s versions of Old Ones and Adventures on the High Seas were the First Editions.)
Ten percent of each payment (after gateway fees) went to the charity designated by Palladium’s Kevin Siembieda, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The Center provides services, resources, and technical assistance to child victims, their families, and the professionals who serve them.
“Palladium Books,” “The Palladium Fantasy Role-Playing Game,” “Rifts,” and “Megaverse” are registered trademarks owned and licensed by Kevin Siembieda. Other titles are trademarks owned and licensed by Kevin Siembieda. All rights reserved under the Universal Copyright Convention.