Pump Points

Pump Points

a Fate Point system for Risus, submitted by Daniel Brouwer

Recently I found and fell in love with Risus. It was almost everything I looked for in an RPG. However, there was one thing I felt was missing. About two years ago I came across Fate, and while it sounded like it would be my type of game, ultimately it was too complicated for me, and I don't like reading. However, one thing stuck out to me as being genius; The Fate Point economy and how it gives players a means of affecting their story.

Here is my way of adding that to Risus.

It is a kind of alternative to the Lucky Shots and are essentially Fate points. Let's call them Pump Points... However, they are not a replacement to the Advanced Options of Pumping and Lucky Shots. They can be used alongside of those.

The Pump Point Economy

Both the game master as well as the players may choose to complicate the character's life in some way to earn a Pump Point. It would obviously be great if it can be done through a cliché, but it can also be something general.

The party is stopped at the gate. Grolfnar Vainsson the Viking is not allowed to enter. This place is for civilized people only. Grolfnar has to stay outside, while the rest are free to enter.

Pump Points can be spent in a variety of ways.

Bonus to a cliché

A Pump Point can be spent in combat to give your cliché a bonus of +2 per Pump Point, provided the player can come up with an entertaining description of how the character is pumping.

Grolfnar uses his viking ways to intimidate the guard into letting him in. Grolfnar comes up two points short to sufficiently intimidate the guard, and immediately spends his newly gained Pump Point to make that vain on his forehead bulge out even further.

Declare a story detail

A Pump Point can be spent to create a fact that will positively affect the story outcome for a character.

Once inside, the group quickly runs into a small procession of the rumoured evil cult that has supposedly infiltrated the town. Shimsham the Wizard with Dark Secrets (4) instantly recognizes one of the men in the procession as an old friend and can use him to quickly find out who the leader is and where to find their hideout.

Create a new cliché

Quite similar to creating a new story detail, Pump Points can also be turned into a new cliché, but each point in the cliché will then cost 2 Pump Points and this cliché cannot be higher than (2) upon creation, and cannot be boosted any further by Pump Points. Also, the cliché has to have a logical connection to the scene.

The adventurers have been invited into the cult's hideout, and are immediately subjected to some form of mind probing to find out their true intentions. Chesha the Cat Woman (4) knows this trick quite well. Her people invented this type of mind probing. She spends 4 Pump Points to gain the Mind Probing (2) cliché to battle the clearly inferior attempts of the cultist's Mind Probing (1) and to find out their true intentions instead of the other way around.

It should go without saying, but whenever something is suggested, everyone should be happy with the idea. If something is a bit too out there for the game master's taste, discuss the idea a little bit to come up with a satisfying alternative. The same goes the other way around. If a player really dislikes the way their character's life is being complicated, they can turn down the offer for the Pump Point or come up with a different solution.