It's a Mad World
What is Rifts
I cannot explain this any better than the man himself (Kevin Siembieda). So this is an excerpt from the beginning of the Rifts Core Rulebook.
"Rifts are tears in the very fabric of space and time. They are found at the nexus points where several “lines” of natural energy (that mankind calls magic) intersect and create a surge in the lines of power. It is a terrifying and exciting extrapolation on the concepts of magic and ley lines as presented in the Beyond the Supernatural role-playing game. The science of geomancy had vanished centuries before. Only myths and crackpot practitioners of magic had any inkling about ley lines and mystic energy. Consequently, no one could have anticipated the fate that awaited humankind.
Nuclear holocaust ignited the destruction of the world as we know it, but it was not the primary instrument of destruction. The sudden destruction of a billion people triggered a surge in the ley lines. All that psychic energy released at once. The sudden influx of psychic energy (P.P.E.) sent the energy rippling through the mystical crossroads of earth like an earthquake. Ley lines flowed with energy that had not been felt for a million years. The energy surged and pulsed and crisscrossed across the planet at the speed of light. At ley line intersections
(nexus points), rifts in space and time tore open, releasing even more energy. The earth shuddered and heaved. Millions more died, increasing the energy level of the rifts.
The oceans leapt from their basin and washed over the land. Hundred of millions more died, their psychic energy (P.P.E.) drawn into the ley lines, and the natural energies doubled again. A chain reaction was unleashed that could not be halted.
The continent men called Atlantis leapt from its watery grave and rose to the light of day for the first time in millennia. Its rebirth changing the very face of the planet. In its wake, the eastern coast of the United States was engulfed by the ocean, sending the energy of millions more
into the relentless rifts.
From the rifts spewed forth energy that tore through man’s citadels of steel and concrete like a tornado through a city built out of match sticks. For every million or billion of lives lost, the ley lines surged and destroyed billions more; a nightmare in geometric principles. The ley lines and the rifts that they opened were not some insidious evil, nor a plot of some malignant intelligence from another world. It was an aspect of nature that science did not even know, let alone understand. Like a child playing with matches in a pool of gasoline, humankind dropped a match into the pool and was instantly engulfed. Once the match was lit and dropped, there was nothing that could be done to undo what had been done. Yet in a strange way, all this death was part of the birth of a new age. And through it all, humankind would persevere. Even the cosmic fury of a world gone mad could not completely eradicate all human life. However, it would take mankind hundreds of years to crawl out of the abyss that swallowed him."
Now I know some people might be wondering about this being a Rifts game since I am using the Hero system, well I’ll explain that all here.