Using Risus for solitaire play

Using Risus for solitaire play


You wish to play a very short Risus game, but you don’t know anybody willing to play with you? Do you remember those good old times when you’ve play pretend as a kid, even by yourself? The method of solitaire roleplaying shown in this text is basically the same idea … You can even play out your deepest daydreams! It’s a good way to grow your inner child, but don’t sue me if you think this doesn’t entertain you as much as roleplaying with others (grasping again the core concept of childhood play is something which takes time to learn).

NB. Being high on sugar (or something else) will suppress any bored feelings during play.



You might want to use “The big list of RPG plots” or “The adventure matrix” for a plot hook idea. If you use the latter, as a tip, you can use the list of "The random bad thing that just happened to my character table" for disastrous outcome situations directed to your character which will give more angst at the beginning.

E.g. you’ve get [disastrous outcome: cursed] after breaking a [valuable thing: magic mirror]. You must [ordinary goal: learn] on how to use your powers so you can live with it.


After playing for a while, you might get less ideas of what would happen to your character. You can use, for example, the list from "The random bad thing that just happened to my character table" to keep things going as you pick up some ideas, in random, which are or might be relevant to your character's current situation (NB. you can even choose some of the list's entries in advance before playing).

E.g. one of the entries which I choose in advance is "burned", as for one of the curse's side effects is to make my female character vulnerable to silver. This is an example of choosing plot twists for later use, for the player has all ready have ideas of what could happen to his/her character, according to concepts he/she wants to use in the game itself.


Using the old Risus method can be quite difficult if you play by yourself. One easy solution is to use rock-paper-scissors dice. For an example of conflict resolution using rock-paper-scissors, Neko Ewen wrote a nice game book with an user-friendly version of the concept which can be applied to Risus.


As a tip, keeping track on paper of the things your character does is a good way to remember in-game things (if you want it to play quietly, of course).



In all situations, use the plain vanilla rules, but I might add that your character can change his clichés from narrative development or plot twists specially if the plot forces "unwillingly" the character to become something else (i.e. this type of situation is the opposite of normal character advancement; the latter explains that the newly added cliché was earned by the character's blood and sweat). In those cases, just modify the description of your character's existing cliché(s) according to the situation.

E.g. As I've said before, my character gets strange powers from her curse. When I choose the cliché to be modified, I would usually pick the one with the lowest potency for the character is a novice at this new cliché trait. Thus, “Geeky girl” (1) becomes “Cursed geeky girl” (1).


Even if some people like to make free drawn maps and adding the details to it (e.g. encounters, treasures), others would not want to hurt their heads in coming up the image of the location set by the map itself. If you don't get the chance to buy “A Kringle in time”, so you could get your hands on the rules of roleplaying without maps, here's a tip I've figured out...

Just assign a cliché for each of the different locations your character will travel to, and make a list of the stuff your character might find there (NB. you can modify the list as you play). The location's cliché is used for different types of conflicts your character will go up against as he travels in that specific location (e.g. getting lost, fight the location's guards, opening locked doors). In other words: view the locations as potential opponents/enemies to your character.