Extra Calories

Extra Calories

Risus for the serious in mind

Any of you who have played Risus in excess have no doubt run across this simple problem at some point or another: What can I do to make it thicker? Sure, it's a nice rules light game for the quick “Hey, let's all go over to the GM's house and demand a game and eat all his food” nights, but what about in the long run? The rules light system of Risus doesn't make for interesting material in the long haul, but the rules light system of Risus does make it easy to add rules. In my experience playing Risus, I have come across some interesting methods for beefing up the system. Here are a few that I have used, or seen used before in the wonderful world of Risus.

  • Stats. In one game I played, the GM decided to implement a stat system. He created a list of stats (I personally recommend the lucky three- Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence) and used those in conjunction with cliches. How you do this is up to you. We assigned a number of points to be distributed among the stats, and picked cliches normally. This way, you could use stats if a cliche didn't cover a skill, or you could use stats to enhance cliches (Like, Agility would make similar skills, like balancing, easier to do). The distribution is up to you as the GM.

  • Equipment. This one has been done a few times, but I'll cover it here anyway. Basically, each character gets a certain number of equipment slots (The most basic is, one head slot, one body slot, and two arm slots) to place equipment. The said equipment will then give bonus cliche dice or bonus pips to a cliche or certain task (+2 knife of sandwich making, for example). Yeah, been done and all, but still nice to add. You can also make a currency system (gold, credits, monkey tails, etc.) and use that for equipment, much like those fancy d20 games.

  • Gridded combat. I'm not sure if anyone else in the community has toyed with this one, but I have a few times. Each character gets a miniature to place on a map, and all normal strategy game rules apply. You can move a certain speed per round, attack within certain ranges (up close for melee and further away for ranged characters). Depending on how you make this system, it can actually add a surprising amount of detail to any game. Or just make it annoying. You really have to balance things right, which mostly depends on your players and how much involvement they want.

  • Alternate Combat Rolls- One thing I do not like about the normal Risus rules is, whoever has more dice usually wins. So, in a few games I've played, we just take the highest single die. Any ties are broken by who has more of that number (whoever rolled more 6's for example) and further ties are broken by the highest total. This means that even though you are a powerful character, you may still loose. Also, another d6 based system I played restricted you to the highest three die rolled. I also like this system. Keeps the players (and the GM) on their toes!

Well, that's about all I can think of at the moment, but I'll probably toy with some more ideas later. Try some of these and tell me what you think!