Blame Blizack over at Dungeonskull Mountain. His posts about Rifts have got me thinking about how I would tweak the setting for a game. It's likely this madness will pass, but here are some of the things I've thought about:
The areas of rifts in the fabric of reality shouldn't be just gateways to other dimensions or sources of magical energy. They ought to be really strange and dangerous; A lot like the zones in Roadside Picnic. The rifts would be alluring, though, as sources of high technology to reverse-engineered. A lot of advanced tech might have been acquired this way. There would also probably be a cargo cult element to many human societies.
Rifts was published in 1990 and in its DNA is material from 70s and 80s post-apocalyptic films and comics, 80s anime and manga, and the general genre zeitgeist of the age. It wouldn't change a lot, I guess, but it might be fun to assume an alternate history where our world of smartphones and mp3s never existed. It was the future of Neuromancer and Ghost in the Shell that led to the world of Rifts. And that future looks like the Logan's Run TV series and the Kamandi comic filtered through the tech and style of Akira, Appleseed and Walter Jon William's Hardwired.
The kitchen sink-ness of Rifts and it's big action have a real comic book sensibility. Not in the sense of superheroes (not as traditionally considered) but in the way that every character is distinctive and has their own look and schtick--and maybe even G.I. Joe style codenames. No PC should be "just a merc"--or even "just a vagabond."
2 hours ago