Rifts® Dimension Book™ Nine
This book has not yet been released.
Forums of the Megaverse
On October 11, 2008, Braden Campbell posted the following to the Forums of the Megaverse:
This week, as I looked at my list of active topics, I took note that there were no less then four separate threads that asked the question of what Dimension Book #9 was or is supposed to be, and what has happened or is happening with it. This thread will answer your questions, because obviously, people are very concerned with the current hole in the Dimension book line.
Dimension Book #9 was supposed to be a supplement for the Phase World setting called the United Worlds of Warlock. It would have outlined and described in detail the third most influential power bloc in the Three Galaxies, but for various reasons the initial version of the project failed to materialize. Time passed. Then, about a year ago, after having written a few projects for Palladium Books, I was asked whether or not I might like to try and write a new version of it.
At first, I was unsure that a book dedicated to a single power bloc was even needed. After all, there's no Consortium of Civilized Worlds or Transgalatic Empire books. However, once I started taking a close look at all the established UWW material, I came up with an entirely new general concept, and once pitched to Kevin, it was approved. Work is only just now beginning on United Worlds because even as I submitted my proposal, I was mired deeply in Thundercloud Galaxy (which is going to kick butt, BTW) with a smattering of Wormwood Addenda on the side (a four-part expansion to Dimension Book #1 appearing this year throughout the Rifter).
I have already talked about my overall idea for United Worlds on both of the Palladium-oriented podcasts, Echoes from the Rifts, and Gateway to the Megaverse, so I don't believe it would be any violation of my non-disclosure agreement to repeat it here.
The United Worlds of Warlock occupies 20% of the Anvil Galaxy, and is a mixed species society which uses the power of magic preeminently. That is to say, it is a collection of supernatural beings, and powerful mages in a space opera setting... which at first glance makes no sense. This is addressed in the book's introductory argument where I lay down the following, provable, premise: that everyone in the Three Galaxies believes in magic, but differs in how they justify that belief. For example, to highly technological and scientific societies, "magic" is simply a childish name for the cosmological constant; the unobservable, all-pervasive energy that binds the universe together. They know it exists, but are unable to harness it (unlike other intrinsic forces like light or gravity). Mystic cultures, of course, believe in magic as is normal for any "man of magic" OCC... however, thanks to the influence of the United Worlds, magic, or "quintessence", is thought to be the fifth of five elements that make up the universe.
Finally, there is a minority of people who try to bridge these two schools of thought. They practice the so-called Articulus Theorem; that magic can be channeled through machinery but only with the power of belief/thought. These are the techno-wizards and techno-smithies of the game setting.
I feel that it’s important to establish this right off the bat, because it affects how the other powers in the three Galaxies see the United Worlds. To anyone on the outside looking in, the UWW seems to have the highest technical capability around, for they have somehow learned how to harness the cosmological constant and put it to work. Theirs is a civilization where distance doesn’t really have any meaning anymore, because thanks to the Celestial Skein (an elaborate system of rifts and pyramids) they can teleport instantly across light-years with no more thought to the act than you or I would to taking a subway downtown. Their space fleet, while much smaller than either the CCW or the TGE, can use the tangents (giant, orbital pyramids) to leap form one star system to another in a few minutes, always able to be exactly when and where it is needed most. They have instantaneous communication over galactic distances (again, thanks to the harnessing of rifts), unsurpassed medical care, and even limited forms of time travel. It would appear that the United Worlds are the pinnacle of civilization and achievement.
But there is a little-known downside to this utopia. As established in Rifts World Book 2: Atlantis, every time a rift opens or closes, ripples are sent throughout the megaverse which attract supernatural being like flies to honey. With 400 billion people using rifts on a daily basis…well, that’s a lot of unwanted attention. The result (the environmental consequence, one might say) is that the UWW is at war. Special Forces teams fight constantly to keep the monsters and horrors attracted to the United Worlds in check and most importantly, out of public eye. For you see, if everyone knew how damaging the overuse of rifts is, then the union would quickly fall apart (and be easy prey for any one the UWW’s enemies). The people working unaccredited in shadows to preserve the status quo are the Player Characters.
The book will be relatively short since there are already more than 50 pages of printed material concerning the United Worlds spread throughout the various Phase World books. It will however include a few new races, new monsters, and a UWW ten most wanted list.
I hope that answers some questions and allays some fears.
- -Braden Campbell
Read more in The official Dimension Book 9 thread...
- Under Construction