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Rifts (Arcane List)

Copyright Ross Henton ©2001

Edited by Lowell R. Matthews for The Guild Companion

A Rift is a two-way transportation gateway.  The two locations connected by a Rift are known as "faces."  A Rift is a two-dimensional construction, and can only be seen from the front side of each face (the "faceplane"); the back sides of each face (the "backplane") are invisible.  Both faceplanes of the Rift are easily visible, appearing as a shimmering, mirrorlike area.  A Rift can be entered from either face.

Unlike most other spells, a Rift cannot simply be cancelled by the caster after it forms.  Closing a Rift before the spell duration expires requires either the Close Rift or the Collapse Rift spells, or Dispel Essence (the Rift resists at the level of the caster who created it, and gains a +50 modification to resist Dispel Essence).

Each face of a Rift forms from a central point, expanding outward to its size limitations or until it encounters a solid object. When an object is encountered, the Rift stops forming in that direction.  Thus, a Rift could be formed within a doorframe, and its boundaries would be the edges of the doorframe itself.

Normally, a Rift face forms a vertical plane, although the caster can specify the orientation of both faces of the Rift when it forms.  Neither face can be moved or shifted once the Rift is open.  Creatures contacting a Rift at its edge or passing through the backplane will feel a "tingling" sensation accompanied by intense cold, but will neither suffer damage nor pass into the Rift.  Only creatures and objects that can fit inside the boundaries of the Rift can pass through it.

The caster must be familiar with the locations of both faces of the Rift when it is formed, or the location of the distant face is subject to the same degree of error as the Teleport spell (Closed Essence List "Lofty Bridge").

The only way for an observer to detect what lies past the opposite face of a Rift is to enter it (or at least to pass his head or other sensory organs through it).  Normally, spells cannot be cast through a Rift.  The only spell that can operate through a Rift is Riftsight (although spells cast on items and creatures that pass through a Rift are not dispelled).

Under certain conditions, a Rift may "tear" if an exceptionally large creature or powerful force (e.g., a large dragon, avalanche, tidal wave, etc.) attempts to forcibly enter a Rift that is too small to allow it passage.  A Rift that has torn may continue to tear and expand randomly (not a good thing).  If a Rift expands to ten times its original size, it may tear into other (randomly determined) dimensions as well.  The Collapse Rift spell is required to mend the tear and close the Rift.  Normally, tearing a Rift requires an Insane (–100) strength-based maneuver.  Also, a Rift can tear if the Expand Rift spell is misused (see the spell description).

If a Rift closes while a creature is passing through it, the victim must roll on the Rift Closure Effects Table below.

 

Class Area of Effect Duration Range

 1—Detect Rift

I
caster
1 rnd/lvl (C)
self

 2—

 

 

 

 

 3—

 

 

 

 

 4—Rift I

F
(10')2/lvl
1 rnd/lvl
touch

 5—Locate Rift

I
self
1 rnd/lvl (C)

 

 6—

 

 

 

 

 7—Rift II

F
(10')2/lvl
1 rnd/lvl
touch

 8—

 

 

 

 

 9—

 

 

 

 

10—Rift III

F
(10')2/lvl
1 rnd/lvl
touch

11—Close Rift

F
1 Rift
V
touch

12—

 

 

 

 

13—Cloak Rift

F
1 Rift
V
touch

14—Expand Rift

F
1 Rift
V
touch

15—Rift IV

F
(10')2/lvl
1 rnd/lvl
touch

16—

 

 

 

 

17—Lock Rift

F
1 Rift
P
touch

18—Riftsight

F
self
1 rnd/lvl (C)
touch

19—Rift Guardian

F
1 Rift
P
touch

20—Rift V

F
(10')2/lvl
1 rnd/lvl
touch

25—Rift VI

F
(10')2/lvl
1 rnd/lvl
touch

30—Dimensional Rift

F
(10')2/lvl
1 rnd/lvl
touch

40—Collapse Rift

F
1 Rift
-
touch

50—Seal Rift

F
1 Rift
P
touch

1—DETECT RIFT (I):  Detects any Rifts within 100' per level of the caster.  The caster does not learn the location of any Rifts detected.

4—RIFT I (F):  Caster creates a Rift between two locations.  The two faces of the Rift can be separated by up to 100'/lvl.

5—LOCATE RIFT (I):  Caster can determine the location of any Rift detected by use of the Detect Rift spell.

7—RIFT II (F):  As Rift I, except the two faces of the Rift can be separated by up to 1,000'/lvl.

10—RIFT III (F):  As Rift I, except the two faces of the Rift can be separated by up to 1 mile/lvl.

11—CLOSE RIFT (F):  Causes a Rift to close.  The Rift gains a RR at the level of the caster who created it (even if the caster is attempting to close a Rift he created).  Permanent Rifts (made with the Lock Rift spell) close for 1 round per level of the caster of the Close Rift spell.

13—CLOAK RIFT (F):  Caster can cloak one face of a Rift from normal vision.  The faceplane becomes invisible (the backplane is already invisible), but passage through the face is unimpeded.  Each face of the Rift must be Cloaked separately, and must be Cloaked from that location (i.e., the spell cannot be cast through the Rift).  The Cloak can be canceled at any time by the caster, and can be dispelled normally with Dispel Essence, but otherwise remains in effect until the Rift closes.  Note:  Even if the Cloak is dispelled, the Rift itself may not be affected.

14—EXPAND RIFT (F):  Caster can increase the size of a Rift by up to (10')2/lvl.  If the Expand Rift spell fails, the Rift may tear (50% chance).  If a Dimensional Rift is expanded, there is a chance (50% – 1%/lvl) that the Rift will tear.  The expansion lasts until the Rift closes.

15—RIFT IV (F):  As Rift I, except the two faces of the Rift can be separated by up to 10 miles per level.

17—LOCK RIFT (F):  Caster makes a Rift permanent (subject to the Close Rift and Collapse Rift spells).

18—RIFTSIGHT (F):  Caster can see and hear from the other face of a Rift as if he were there.  The sensory input is fixed on the other side of the Rift.  The Riftsight spell causes the opposite face of the Rift (where the caster's sensory input is located) to glow a shimmering, golden color (even if the Rift is cloaked on that face).

19—RIFT GUARDIAN (F):  Binds a semi-intelligent guardian spirit of the caster's level into the Rift.  The Rift will be impassable to all except the caster unless a will contest (see the Rolemaster Companion) is successfully initiated and carried out against the Guardian (the Guardian's Will score is 5 × lvl).  If the Guardian loses the will contest, it is released from the Rift.  The spirit is incapable of harming anyone, and only serves to prevent passage through the Rift.  The Guardian can only impede passage through the Rift in one direction (specified by the caster when this spell is cast).  The Guardian remains in the Rift until it closes.

20—RIFT V (F):  As Rift I, except the two faces of the Rift can be separated by up to 100 miles per level.

25—RIFT VI (F):  As Rift I, except the two faces of the Rift can be separated by up to 1000 miles per level.  Editor's note:  A separation range of 25,000 miles (i.e., at level 25) is more than sufficient to reach any location on an earthlike planet (the average diameter of Earth is only 7,918 miles).  For scenarios in which such objects exist, this range is also sufficient to reach a satellite in geosynchronous orbit (22,240 miles).

30—DIMENSIONAL RIFT (F):  As Rift I, except the two faces of the Rift can be on different planes of existence (the caster must still be sufficiently familiar with both locations to utilize this spell).

40—COLLAPSE RIFT (F):  As Close Rift, except any Rift can be closed permanently with this spell.  Nonpermanent Rifts do not receive a RR; Locked Rifts gain a RR but are permanently closed if they fail.

50—SEAL RIFT (F):  Caster can Seal a Rift so that only individuals he specifies can pass through it (there is no limit to the number of objects, however).  Up to one person per five levels of the caster can be specified (which must be done at the time of casting).  A Sealed Rift cannot have a Guardian, cannot be Closed or Dispelled, and gains a +50 RR bonus to Collapse Rift spells.

Rift Closure Effects Table

01–20

The traveler is thrust from the Rift through the face he was entering.

21–30

The traveler is thrust from the Rift through a randomly determined face.  He takes an "A" Slash critical.

31–40

The traveler is thrust from the Rift through a randomly determined face, face-first.  He takes an "A" Slash critical.

41–50

The traveler almost makes it clear of the Rift before it closes.  His departure from the Rift is random and he takes a "B" Slash critical.

51–65

The unwary traveler is caught in the closing of the Rift.  He takes a "B" Slash critical, and any body part indicated by the critical is severed.  The traveler's bulk is cast out of the Rift through a randomly determined face.

  66

The unfortunate victim is trapped in the Rift's closing.  He takes 1–5 "E" Essence criticals and 1–5 "E" Slash criticals.

67–70

The victim takes a "C" Slash critical before being dumped unceremoniously out of the Rift through a random face.  Any body parts indicated by the critical are severed.

71–84

The slow fool is caught in the Rift.  He takes "D" Slash and "C" Stress criticals before being thrust out of the Rift through a random face.  Any body parts indicated by the critical are severed.

85–91

The unexpected closure of the Rift delivers "E" Slash and "D" Stress criticals.  The traveler is expelled from the Rift in a random direction.  Any body parts indicated by the criticals are severed.

92–96

Oops!  The traveler was a little too slow.  He takes "E" Slash, "E" Stress, and "D" Essence criticals while departing from the Rift in a random direction.  Any body parts indicated by the criticals are severed.

97–99

Sorry.  The traveler takes 1–3 "E" Slash, 1–3 "E" Essence, and 1–3 "E" Stress criticals.   Any body parts indicated by the criticals are severed as pieces of the traveler depart the Rift randomly.

100

The Rift gate closes instantly—neatly bisecting the traveler vertically!  Yuck.

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