Tattooed men, or T-men, are warriors imbued with superhuman abilities granted by a special form of magic. A T-man may access any powers (including Mega Powers), while others confer specific abilities or protections instead rather than powers. Most T-men are covered in at least six unique mystic tattoos, though experienced and battle-hardened warriors may have many more.
Tattooed Men on Rifts Earth are often slaves of the Splugorth in Atlantis and those that aren’t have escaped captivity and are part of the Atlantean Resistance or nomadic adventurers constantly looking over their shoulder. Still others are dimensional travelers, fighting for those that cannot fight themselves or organizing the Atlantean effort to retake their homeland.
The secret of Tattoo Magic is closely guarded and known only to Atlantean Clan Masters and a few other races, including the Splugorth and the Chiang-Ku dragons. While most T-Men are Atlanteans and humans, other races that can receive mystic tattoos are limited.
Hero’s Journey (Five Rolls)
Tattooed Men gain three rolls on the following tables: Education, Magic & Mysticism, and Underworld & Black Ops.
Tattooed Men gain two rolls on any table, except Cybernetics or Psionics.
Many Powers, Many Tattoos
Tattoo Powers may be selected from any of the available powers, but with the limitation that the trapping may never change. The design of the tattoo is linked to the trapping, and ultimately the manifestation, of the power. For example, a mystic tattoo of three lightning bolts, activates the Bolt power with the electricity trapping. This can never be changed without receiving a new mystic tattoo with a different design.
Tattooed Man Abilities and Bonuses
While Tattooed Men do not receive, nor can they take the Master of Magic Edge, mystic tattoos confer additional power and harden the T-man’s body against harm.
- Arcane Background (Tattoo Magic): Tattooed Men begin with a total of three powers and six tattoos and the Tattoo Magic (Spirit) skill starting at d8. As an arcanist, Tattooed Men may also draw power from ley lines, increasing their maximum PPE to twice their normal maximum PPE.
- Born to Bleed: Tattooed Men are hardened through enslavement by the Splugorth or through hard-fought battles in arenas or in combat. As a result, he gains the choice of either Battle-Hardened or Nerves of Steel Edge.
- Intense Combat Training: Tattooed Men are mystic warriors and begin play with Fighting d8, the Martial Artist Edge, and one Combat Edge (meeting all requirements except Rank).
- Mystic Warrior: Tattooed Men may activate the Armor power/tattoo as a free action (assuming they can still touch the tattoo).
- Tattoo Master: Mystic tattoos harden the body and mind of the person who is imprinted with the power. All Tattooed Men receive a +2 bonus to their Toughness.
Tattooed Man Complications
The secrets of Tattoo Magic is sought after by many throughout the Megaverse and these warriors often find themselves in difficult situations.
- Only the Strong: Not every race is suitable to receive Tattoo Magic. Tattooed Men may only be Humans, True Atlanteans, Ogres, or Elves, though few Elves willingly subject themselves due to the limited effects (half damage, range, and duration). Other races simply receive a colorful pictogram on their body.
- Contact Sport: Tattooed Men must physically touch a tattoo and concentrate in order to activate the power. Armor and clothing gets in the way, so Tattooed Men cannot wear armor
- Cybernetics: Like all men of magic, cybernetics hinder a Tattooed Man’s powers.
- Restricted Path: Tattooed Men may not take any other arcane background.
- Hunted: Tattooed Men are hunted, either because they were a slave and escaped captivity or because they have made powerful enemies because of the battles they have chosen, or simply because someone seeks the secrets of mystic tattoos.
- Enemies: Tattooed Men will radiate magic and thus be “shoot-on-sight” targets for Coalition forces. They are likewise hated by members of the True Federation of Magic.
Tattooed Man Starting Gear
NG-33 Laser Pistol, one silver cross, 2d6 x 100 credits.