Skills Within Clichés

Skills Within Clichés

From an older note for the Risus mailing list by S. John Ross.

A simpler method for this (and one I've playtested with some success a few years ago) can come from the Source Of All Gaming Goodness itself, Ghostbusters. Allow each character to specify a single Specialty for each cliché, and grant that specialty a two-die bonus (alternately, let somebody take two Specialties at a die each). The Specialty should be a genuine subset of the cliché - something that represents, say, 20% or less of it, and the subset could be something as mundane as a task or skill, instead of a true cliché.

So, instead of your model, where we end up with Shoe-Tyer (5) with a half-dozen shoe-tying skills (fancy inverse loop, velcro straps, etc) cascading beneath, we have something like Grouchy Akkadian Sorcerer (3), with a specialty of Mind Magic (+2 dice). The bonus would always be a bonus - not "real" dice that can be lost in combat (the specialty could be used in combat, granting a serious advantage, but it wouldn't get the double advantage of also being a dice-loss cushion).

As I said, I've played with this, and it works well enough, but it ends up straining the bounds of the Work:Fun ratio for me, and it causes several parts that I love about Risus to warp at the edges in disconcerting ways.

YMMV, as they say.