Risus Playground

Risus Playground

This setting was designed by Larry Bullock for use with Risus: The Anything RPG which is freely provided by S. John Ross at the Risus: The Anything RPG site and is based in large part on Disney's Recess © Disney.

Risus Playground

Will you have fun on the playground?

  • Genre: Modern (kids)

  • Tone: Humorous

  • Campaign Options: Hooks and Tales, Pumping Clichés

  • Points/Dice: 10 Dice

  • Description: Follow the adventures of kids trying to enjoy their time on the playground.

The World

Return with us now, to those thrilling days of yesteryear. Well, not quite. It's time to hang out with your friends on the playground. There's so many fun things to do: play basketball, tag, kick ball; have fun on the swings; talk. If only that bully would leave you alone, and that darn tattletale would quit snooping around. Have fun now, you'll be growing up before you know it.


Here are some sample clichés for those who might hang around the playground. As usual, the players are free to come up with more (which should be easy for most of us) with GM approval.

Cliché - What it's good for

  • Sport - Kick ball, bombardment, it doesn't matter. You're good at all sports.

  • Prankster - Practical jokes are your forté.

  • Smarty Pants - No one knows more than you (except maybe another smarty pants).

  • New Kid - You're labeled as “new kid” and can't shake it until another new kid comes along. Most other kids will cut you some slack since you're the new kid.

  • Tough Kid - Fear is unkown to you. You laugh in the face of danger.

  • Bully - Intimidation is your game. Getting what you want from others is fun, especially if you can make them cry.

  • Tattletale - Rules are meant to be followed. You're first to run to an adult when trouble is about.

  • (specific playground equipment) kid You rule a specific piece of playground equipment (swing, monkey bars, etc.). No one is better than you on your turf.

  • Teacher's Pet - The teachers love you and are always asking for special favors.

  • Office Helper - Similar to the teachers pet, you hang out in the office.

  • Guru Kid - You exude an aura of knowledge and wisdom. Other kids come to you for advice.

  • Hustler - You've got your finger on what's hot and are looking to cash in.

  • (game) champ - No one stands a chance at you in your game. Marbles, jacks, etc.

  • Kindergartener - Not really accepted by the older kids (some of them even fear you). Seen as belonging to a primitive tribe who focuses on candy, being messy, and naps.

  • Quiet Kid - Never really says much of anything. But you have to be careful of the quiet ones.

  • Popular Kid - Everyone seems to like you. You usually hang around with other kids like you (sometimes forming clubs if you all have the same name).

  • Big Kid - You tower over the rest of the kids in your grade.

Petey Jones

  • Smarty Pants: (4) Teachers Pet (3) Sport (2) Big Kid (3)

  • Hooks: Petey always wears his lucky blue baseball cap (consider it a proper tool for the Sport cliché).

  • Tale: Up until the start of the year, Petey was the new kid at school. Thankfully, someone else has filled that position at school and he can just be Petey.

  • Description: Petey is a gangly 4th grader, a bit larger than his friends. His clothes often appear a bit on the small side. He tries to hide his smarty pants nature and has recently taken up sports.

Kids Rules

Migrating Clichés

Kids change a lot, even in a single school year. A kid should be allowed to trade one cliché for another (at equal rank), at the beginning of any episode (with GM approval). Note: this is a full trade, not lowering the rank of one cliché to get a new cliché.

A new student started this year, so Petey traded in New Kid: 2 for Sport: 2.

Growing Up

Sooner or later, kids start to grow up. They are expected to give up childish things. It is a sad and scary time for a kid. Your parents put new expectations on you. They sign you up for special classes and activities. Many times, they don't even ask for your permission or thoughts. In game terms, more “adult” clichés come with a price. In order to acquire a cliché that the GM deems adult in nature, you must give up some of your childhood clichés. For every rank in an adult cliché you acquire, you must give up 2 ranks in childhood clichés (this can be split between multiple clichés).

Petey's parents sign him up for a web design. He decides he likes it. To add Web Master: 1 to his clichés, Petey gives up 1 rank from Teachers Pet and 1 rank from Big Kid.

When acquiring other adult clichés, a kid is not allowed to give up other adult clichés.

Dealing with Adults

Adults have strange ways of dealing with children. Adults' cliché rolls are modified based on their relationship to a given kid (the modifier is added/subtracted from the total roll for the cliché).

Adult Difficulty Table

  • Authority Figure (principal, parent): +2

  • Teacher: +1

  • Stranger: 0

  • Relative: -1

  • Neighbor: -3

Petey is trying to cut through Mrs. Fisher's yard to get to the playground. Mrs. Fisher uses her Nosy Neighbor: (3) cliché and rolls an 8 (this is reduced to a 5 due to her role as neighbor).

Adventure Ideas

For the most part, just watch an episode or two of Disney's Recess. You'll come back with a ton of adventure starters. Below are a couple of ideas.

Teachers Lounge

Every kids wants to see what's inside the teachers lounge. Will you be able to find your way in?

King of the Playground

Every playground has a king. The one who defines and upholds the rules. The current king is moving, and it's time to pick a new king.

Bully Trouble

A bully is tormenting someone in the group. How will you stop it?

Birthday Party

Your mom wants you to give up your favorite toy (you're too old for it now). What will you do?