“It must have been eight or nine years ago.
“My buddies and I were just mercenaries, treasure hunters, bandits… Whatever you want to call us, we were just in it for the money and power. We weren’t like that Tomorrow Legion you want to join. We were nothin’ like the Tomorrow Legion…
“Hell, I didn’t even get my Glitter Boy the honest way. I didn’t earn it. It wasn’t passed down to me like an heirloom sword. I found it on a battlefield, scraped the carcass of the former pilot out of it, and put it back together with spit and baling wire. Hell, maybe if I knew what I was doing, that kid and his cat wouldn’t have beaten us so bad.
“Yeah, I said ‘cat.’ That crazy-ass Burster on the other side of the Rift had some sort of cat-shaped D-Bee with him. A little guy with a big head. Blue fur. And he could fly.
“Aye, sir. He could fly real damn fast.”
– Derek Platt, former rogue Glitter Boy pilot
|"We have to save our friends!"|
Filtering into Rifts® Earth from a few small Rifts located in the ruins of Fort Worth, Texas, the cat-like humanoids called Exceeds tell a curiously confused story about being dimensional refugees twice over. They claim to originally hail from a world of flying islands and diminishing magical resources called Edolas, from whence they fled to a PPE-rich dimension called Earth Land before again seeking refuge on Rifts Earth after Earth Land was invaded by the Alvarez Empire. The few Exceeds who have joined the Tomorrow Legion accuse themselves of cowardice – fleeing before the foe rather than fighting alongside the rest of their people – and try hard to contribute to protecting Rifts® Earth despite their diminutive size and unusual magic.
Exceeds are vaguely humanoid, bipedal cats. Their oversized craniums give them the brain capacity of any other intelligent species and their strength seems to be on par with most normal humans despite being barely twice as large as a normal housecat. They commonly wear clothes over their fur and happily make use of humanoid weapons (though most must be custom made to accommodate their size).
The most surprising aspect of Exceed physiology is that they all seem to be born with the ability to use a type of flight magic they call “aera.” While not a naturally winged race, Exceeds can temporarily manifest a magical pair of wings and use them to fly. This taps into their internal PPE – limiting its use for long-range travel – but they can attain incredible speeds for short bursts.
- Aera: The flight magic of Exceeds functions closer to a Super Power from the Savage Worlds core rules than the magic and psychic powers of Savage Rifts. All Exceeds begin with a d6 in aera and 20 PPE. Aera works only on the individual Exceed. It primarily functions as the fly power in terms of effects and Power Point cost. Aera, however, also gives Exceeds the boost function of boost/lower trait for their Strength only for no additional cost – but only in terms of increasing their encumbrance capacity (allowing tiny Exceeds to carry full-size humans through the air). Exceeds are considered to have the Master of Magic Edge for aera only (giving them the effects of swift flight and greater boost trait) and must take the Master of Magic Edge again if they learn any additional forms of magic.
- Claws: Exceeds have retractable claws that do Str+d6 damage.
- Distinctive D-Bee: Talking, walking, weirdly-colored cats stand out pretty dramatically even amongst the weird races of Rifts Earth and the Coalition (being largely dog people anyway) hates them. Exceeds suffer a -4 Charisma when dealing with Coalition soldiers, officials, and citizens.
- Non-Standard Physiology: The short stature, big heads, and paw-like hands of Exceeds mean they must wear custom-made armor, wield custom-made weapons, and have difficulty operating most machinery (-2 for all Trait checks, including firing vehicular weapons).
- Small: As has been mentioned many times before, Exceeds are really short (-1 Toughness).
- Those Darned Cats!: Because of their diminutive size (smaller even than half-folk and similar peoples), opponents are at a -1 to hit Exceeds as long as the Exceeds are aware and moving. (Thanks, sitingduck1313!)
|Yes, that's a 20'-long sword the Exceed is wielding.|
Battle Mode Shift
Requirements: Exceed, Seasoned
Exceeds who train their bodies hard enough master the ability to increase their size to just under standard human height while using aera. This allows them to use aera’s boost trait benefit to Strength for hand-to-hand combat. Battle Mode Shifted Exceeds do not suffer a -1 to Toughness and opponents are not a -1 to hit them.
Improved Battle Mode Shift
Requirements: Exceed, VeteranExceeds who practice long enough and hard enough with the Battle Mode Shift increase the size of their shifted form to that of a tall and burly human. They effectively gain the benefits of the Brawny Edge while in Battle Mode Shift.