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Here you will find my whimsical ravings for...
Risus: The Anything RPG by S. John Ross.

In every campaign there are those items that are special and actually help the owner more than regular versions of the item, (i.e. Stormbringer vs. a regular sword). To recreate that in Risus there are at least 5 different methods that can be used.

a) Pip & Dice Add. Your Magic Sword adds +1 pip, +2 pips, +1d, +1d+1, +1d+2, +2d, etc... depending on how powerful it is. (A la Star Wars and Carl Hewett)

b) Dice change. Your Magical Sword doesn't give you any bonus dice, but upgrades your d6s to d8s. Tricky if you're already using funky dice... This makes bonus equipment particularly good in the hands of already-skilled characters. (Peter Corbett)

c) Distinctive dice for the item - maybe you can represent it by using a funky die for the more powerful items - a bog-standard magical sword would just be a different-colored d6, whereas something like Stormbringer would be a d20. The GM should work out how all this interacts with dice loss in combat/pumping - it raises some interesting ideas about being disarmed...(Peter Corbett)

d) Self-Willed Magical Sword (4) - You roll your dice, it rolls its dice, and your score is the best of these. Makes bonus equipment better for the less able - good for the evil mage's sword. Again, dice loss etc. needs to be worked out. (Peter Corbett)

e) Teaming Up Magical Sword (4) - You roll your dice and the sword rolls its dice and contributes any sixes it rolls to your total. You don't always get a bonus, but when you do it's a good bonus. Should be equally useful for anyone. (Florian Edlbauer)

f) Second Chance Magical Sword - You roll your dice and if it isn't as good as you'd like, you can re-roll your dice. But, you must take the second roll regardless. (S. John Ross)

g) Doubling Sword - After you roll the dice for your attack, pick one to double. (S. John Ross)

h) Stealing Sword - You can steal one of your opponents dice and roll it with your attack. Good for normal fighters going up against funky-dice monsters. (S. John Ross)

i) Cliché Sword - This sword has its own cliché which can be used in place of your cliché in certain situations. The most obvious is sword combat. But, the sword could have any cliché reasonable, like Knowledge of Knightly Behavior. (Paul Stefko)

j) Mail of Protection (2) - This magic item doesn't use a cliché roll to take effect. Instead, the wearer can ignore the first (2) dice of damage in any combat. (Paul Stefko)

k) Limited Bonus Sword - This magic items gives bonus dice to the characters cliché(s) in certain situations. (i.e. only in the dark, only when fighting zombies, only when an elf is using it, etc...) (Paul Stefko)

l) Random Sword (2) - When you roll your attack add 2 different colored dice for the sword (like 1 blue die and 1 red die) decide which one will be subtracted from the other one. Sometimes this will give you a bonus, sometimes this won't. Say you decide you'll subtract the red die from the blue die. You roll a 6 on the blue die and a 1 on the red die, you would get a +5 to your roll. On the other hand if you had a 1 on the blue die and a 6 on the red die, you would get a -5 to your roll. (Florian Edlbauer)

m) Moon Sword - This sword adds 1 die when the moon is waxing but subtracts 1 die when the moon is waning. Other possibilities are items linked to the sea, sun, storm, etc... (Florian Edlbauer)

n) Berserker Sword - This sword only works for people without armor. (Florian Edlbauer)

o) The Best of Sword - When you roll your attack, roll double the dice of your cliche. Choose the best dice equal to your cliche out of the whole mess. (S John Ross)

Cliché Advancement
Cliché advancement (as described in the original Risus 1.5) in a regular Risus game that is being played for laughs is just fine. But, for freaks like myself that want to play Risus in a serious manner, the Cliché advancement system is somewhat lacking. So in this light I'm suggesting the following...

"Serious" Cliché Advancement:

At the end of every adventure, the GM awards 1 advancement point to each cliché that was successfully and appropriately used. After the GM has made this award the player may decide to try and advance his cliché. The player rolls his cliché dice vs. the cliché's advancement points. If he rolls under the total advancement points for the cliché, he gains a die in that cliché. But if he doesn't roll under the advancement point total, he loses 1 of the advancement points for that cliché.

EXAMPLE: John Hart the Dark Knight has Knight (4) as a cliché and he has been riding around the country side upholding the King's Law and fighting monsters of all sorts. At the end of the current adventure the GM awards him another advancement point bringing his total up to 10. The player decides it is time to try to advance his cliché, so he roll the 4 dice in his Knight cliché. If he rolls 10 or less on the 4 dice he advances from Knight (4) to Knight (5). But if the player rolls over 10, he loses 1 advancement point and stays at Knight (4).

Of course, as with all things, there are variations.

The GM can award more points for...

1) Role-playing the cliché well during the adventure.
2) Rolling all sixes on a cliché roll.


In the game all vehicles (land, sea, air and space vehicles) are described by any of the following clichés that apply: Vehicle Name/Type, Defense System/Type, Weapon System/Type, and Speed System.

Example: The Centennial Hawk a small smuggler’s space vessel that looks like this:
Clichés: Centennial Hawk (3); Hardened Armor Plating (3); Twin Pulse Lasers (2); and Sub-Warp Drive (2)

Centennial Hawk (3) would be used for ship’s functions, Hardened Armor Plating (3), is used primarily for defense, Twin Pulse Lasers (2) is of course used to attack, and

Sub-Warp Drive (2) is used for movement and chases.

Using a vehicle is considered as teaming up, without the vengeance bonus. So, when you team, roll the character's cliché and add any sixes rolled by the vehicle's cliché.

Any damage done in combat may be taken from the vehicle instead of from a character. But, if any of the ship’s clichés drops to 0, the vehicle is dead and must be repaired to move again.

Why the Flames?
Some people have been wondering about my selection of name for this website. The Flames of Risus. At first I chose it because it sounded neat and I really couldn't remember any other website having a name like it. Admit it. It's short, snappy and easy to remember. But, there was something more to it and I couldn't put my finger on it. I started to search the web for something that summed up the way I felt. And at last I have found it!

I feel again a spark of that ancient flame.

I don't know who the author is, but his quote has captured the way I feel about Risus. The game harkens back to my early days of roleplaying when there was only one real choice in games. But, everyone played it, tweaked it, created home-brewed rules for it and, most importantly, had fun with it!

Now here we are playing, tweaking, creating home-brewed rules and (I for one) am having a world of fun with it!!!! And, can you feel it? It's the spark of that ancient roleplaying flame.

Because this has been laying hidden for ELEVEN YEARS!!!
This is a fantasy tweak for RISUS that I was working on over 11 years ago. AND, it has been sitting hidden here for all that time. If anyone finds it, ENJOY!!!
Black Days, White Knights