Long-Term Advancement for Risus

When one of your character’s cliches reach (6), you can’t improve it any further without outside assistance such as magic items. At this point a player may split one of his character’s current cliches into two (or more) related cliches and advance those. The dice of the source cliche can be spread as evenly or unevenly among the new cliches as the player wishes.

Example: A Blind Lecherous Swordsman (6) can’t improve that cliche any further. So at the next opportunity he splits it into two cliches. Blind Swordmaster (3) and Irresistible Lecherous Scoundrel (3).

Now the character is even better defined by having two cliches that are each part of the source cliche, yet more specialized  He can now also resume advancing in both of them. The important part is not to make totally new cliches, but to expand on and specialize the abilities the character already has.

This provides all the players with the ability to continue advancing for longer periods of adventuring, and also refine and customize their characters as play continues and the character’s personality and abilities become more clear in the player’s mind.

The basic rules and creativity of making cliches remain, with the only restriction being the new cliches have to use the old cliche as a starting point. So, from the above example, you couldn’t split Blind Lecherous Swordsman (6) into Veterinary Genesplicer (3) and Award-winning Novelist (3). Neither of those are based on blindness, lechery, or swordfighting.

On the other hand the new cliches can be only creatively related to the source cliche. So one of the new cliches could be Blind Master of the Mystic Arts (3) if years of adventuring blind have shown the character the secrets of the universe and allowed him to use magic. Be sure to explain how the new cliches came about to the GM.

As a character advances and splits cliches, don't erase the old cliches. Put the new cliches under the old one, which doesn't have a number anymore. This way you can keep track of how your character has developed and keep his core concepts in mind.

Example:
  • Blind Lecherous Swordmaster (6)
Into:
Blind Lecherous Swordmaster
  • Blind warrior-acolyte(3)
  • Lovable Lecherous Scoundrel(3)
Later:
Blind Lecherous Swordmaster
  • Blind warrior-acolyte
    • Weaponmaster of legend (4)
    • Blind mystic heretic (2)
  • Lovable Lecherous Scoundrel
    • Grandparent to dozens of illegal heirs (3)
    • Thief with bounties in five kingdoms (3)

And so on if a character lasts for a really long time. Just looking at the character sheet in this default state can tell someone the path the character has travelled during his career. It also can be a good source of ideas of what is and is not in a particular character's array of abilities/skills if confusion comes up. If the GM doesn't agree to a certain interpretation, or the player, either can point back to the foundation cliches for support.

-Griffin Pelton
Comments