As a long time player of rpgs as well as a soon to be published author for palladium, I feel a need to put in my two cents.
If I had to summarize the palladium system, it would be in the following manner.
I love the worlds created, but hate the rules.
I don't think the rules need a total rewrite, but a serious clairification is in order.
The first things I would do if I were in charge of palladium would be the following.
1. Organize all of the rules into a single easy to use book. A megaversal rule book has been talked about since the end of time, but it keeps being ignored by the powers that be.
1. It help reduce confusion in the system as a whole.
2. It would be a great reference instead of lugging around 30 odd books. I still find it extremely irritating that despite the perception rules being in the Nightbane book for quite a few years now, it was not added to the Rifts Game Master Guide. A Similar problem occured with making the various spells rules in Through the Glass Darkly (a very good magical reference for ANY RPG) were not transfered to their rifts book of magic. Despite being excellent rules which solve many of the problems with palladium, they are not combined with the system as a whole.
Another example of this would be the saving throws. I've seen 2 different numbers for save verses pain, and after compiling the saving throws in a rifter, they forgot to put it in the Rifts Games Master guide.
I find this to be highly Irrititing.
3. It would reduce costs for palladium: Palladium prides itself in keeping its costs down, which should be respected. This would help, by not having to reduce the text that is reguritated in book after book. The rifts games master guide helps this a bit, but I would prefer a universal book with tweaks for the particular system.
4. It would give us a good overall look on the system, and the reduce the need for unecessary updates. A classic of the example would be the -10 fiasco. In Conversions Book one, there was a perfectly good rule about -6 penalties involving gunfire and listing a catch all rule involving those that are special (such as a juicer or a cyberknight) that could use this rule, which included P.P. bonuses). Because people couldn't find this blasted rule, Kevin Siembieda reinvented the wheel and created a horrible rule that involves -10 to all firearms with no bonuses to P.P, totally ignoring the previous update and throwing one heck of a monkeywrench into my enjoyment.
5. Cross Indexing!!!!: Keep it so ruthlessly organize so that it is bloody easy to find anything. An index is absolutely manditory and it will keep the fustrations to a minimum.
When an "alpha manuscript" is completed, then send a series of rules lawyers through them to clean it up to reduce future headaches. Then I would tweak the following:
1. I would retool all rules to minimize differences between color text and rules. Palladium has some incredible stories and feeling, but the sad part is often it is impossible to duplicate similar actions using their rules.
2. I like the idea of templates, but would probably stick with the O.C.C. system (or education system depending on which palladium system I was using), just to keep continuity.
3. Simplify the attributes, giving a +% or + bonuses (or penalities), using a baseline of 9-10 as a 0 bases, which wouldn't matter on the stat.
4. Modify the skills to allow certain skills to use different basis (which is easily acommidated with the new system). It feels like at present that you are pretty much rolling skills only when the G.M. doesn't want you to do something. I would stick with the percentage, but I would make a universal template for all percentages based on their overall difficulty (ex 70% +5% for an easy skill, 50% + 5% for a average skill and so on), and give a bonus for easy tasks and a penalty for difficult stats that is uniform.
I would also keep the skills that improve attributes and skills (one of its charm), but keep the returning rules found in Rifter #20, so that you don't just jack up on physical skills at the expense of other skills.
5. I would keep some of the elements of the system the same, but I would pretty much base all roles contested, and make it extremely clear which rolls can have P.P. bonuses. I would clairify what actions take how many melee attacks, so that there is no murkiness and make sure it is properly tested.
I would also probably also put strength on a sliding scale to make sure a minimum of information of explaning on information needs to be done between normal human, augmented human/strong d-bee, robotic and supernatural.
6. I actually kinda like making blast rules to increase probability of hitting, rather then additional damage, but would be willing to stick with new blast rules (based on weapon, rather then a bad rip off of their SDC ROF).
7. I would reduce M.D.C. considerably and restrict it to vehicles and power armor. I would also give it either a typical A.R. (if used piece metal), or natural A.R. (if fully environmental).
Additionally, I would not give power armor/giant robots additional attacks or bonuses to strike, unless it was specifically based on a particular special combat computer/special doo dad. The suit's advantages should be arms and armor (M.D.C.), not reflexes.
8. I would give a comprehensive definition for supernatural and creature of magic, and list out its requirements.
9. I would use the road hog rules, and update them for ease of use.
10. I would make the vampire a template for easy modification of d-bee races.
11. I would have a genero creature for every monster listing for easy use by the G.M. However, I would also give the variable stats for "special cases."
12. I would increase the dynamism in character generation. While some classes would have minimal dynamism, I would increase it for some to represent character development.
13. I would most definately keep the experience system and alignment systems. these are some of the best points palladium has going for it.
14. I would make a list of special abilities, and then assign them based on the critter or special abilities. This will reduce reinterpretation of old rules and explain how it would work most of the time. If there is an exception, it would be listed under the creature in question.
15. I would explain a quick explaination of modern systems and convert them to game play, as well as common ways to circumvent them.
I believe that covers the basics.