First, a little background. Maestro.
Many, many moon ago, when Rifts was young and White Wolf was a joke with only Ars Magica to its name, but not so far in the past as when White Dwarf ran articles for AD&D and Cyberpunk came in a box, I wrote a game. A friend of mine, Terry McGinn, contributed to design, development and production, but the task of writing the thing was mine, and write it I did. 426 pages, 146,794 words, subsequently to be adapted as a CCG which my friends and I still play on occasion, about as original as it can get in source material but with a system which, while original, showed heavily the influence of Shadowrun and Rifts. So, as much as I liked it, it wallowed in buried ignominity.
For a while.
Nowadays, I have the Realm to take up my time, I have things like Requiem and Armageddon online to brag about, and I have college to eat up my spare time (hah!) and spare cash (BIG HAH!). Yet I still remember fondly the dark landscapes of Project Nightfall, the battlegrounds of Arena (later to take a special kind of life in the form of Arcadia), and the angelic war of Divinia, as I do our lonely group of aliens, angels, warriors and a lunatic four-armed mutant tyrannosaurus with an unnatural fear of radishes. What can I say? I wasn't normal. I'm still not.
I'm not about to post Horizons, the behemoth which laid the foundations for so many ideas I would later try out, and a great many which have yet to achieve full growth. For one thing, I don't have the space; 1.9 megs is too rich for my blood. For another, it isn't that good. But the source material, the ideas written into the fabric of the various worlds, is. Horizons was a game of interconnected dimensions, of many different planes coexisting and coinhabiting, all guided by the forces of light, darkness, apathy, self-interest, and the watchful eye of the Guardians.
So, welcome to Rifts Pocketbooks.
The various dimensions of Horizons fit quite neatly into the tapestry of worlds which is Rifts. Each of the dimensions of Horizons will, in time, become a small dimensions book. None will be as large or as complex as Arcadia, nor as independent as Metroplex; but ultimately all twenty initial realities will be online, a complex and interconnected network of places, people, O.C.C.s and adventure ideas that a creative and extemporaneous G.M. can work into a one-shot adventure, a spot on the long wandering interdimensional campaign, or perhaps just good reading. I will be converting one Pocketbook every so often, maybe once a month, maybe more. Some are bigger than others; the first, Project Nightfall, will be about average, though Dartaal in particular is quite large.
Hey, if you're lucky, maybe I'll even post the Horizons CCG. But you'd
better be damn lucky; it has 500 cards, complete with flavour text, much
bigger than the Alpha release of Magic, and it's damn good, damn good indeed.
Still can't win at it to save my life, but who cares?
Why Pocketbooks Work
There are several advantages to Pocketbooks. First, they're light reading; many people don't like heavy supplements like Arcadia, which take a long time to read and put into use. Moreover, Pocketbooks are better suited to a one-shot adventure or as an element in a campaign, which is less invasive and thus more likely to be used by the average Gamer.
Additionally, Pocketbooks are a great forum to present new equipment, O.C.C./R.C.C.s and Races. The Pocketbook gives these characters and items a background, something to be rooted in; enough with the "this race comes from a world which . . ." nonsense. The Pocketbook clearly details who the individual is, and why they do what they do. Motivation is worth any five super abilities.
Plus, hey, they're really easy for me to do.