In 2008, I started Risus Thought of the Moment as a place to be a group blog about the greatness that is Risus. It was started somewhat in protest at the way Wetpaint was working (or more accurately not working) for Risusiverse and as a resource to post stuff for people who’s other free hosting providers were closing up shop.
It never really took off as a group blog…mostly just me and an occasional soul or two. It has been a lot of fun, but it’s purpose seems to be better filled in other ways.
I plan to go through the contents of Risus Thought of the Moment and building a nice PDF file of the best content and making it available (either at Risusiverse or at Unearthed Playgrounds - maybe both).
For those of you who have supported the site over the years, thank you. Please continue to show support by joining the community at Google+.
Goblin maiden looking to marry a wealthy adventurer to take her away from it all (4)
Street merchant who always seems to have what people need (3)
Insatiable flirt who likes to play with knives (3)
Gwyn is a young goblin maiden who happened to have been raised by a nice couple of humans (poor but very well liked in the community).She resides in a seedier part of town, and even there, she has to deal with mistrust from most everyone. She is only tolerated by most because of her parents.She has put up with prejudice most of her life. However, she has become an accomplished merchant who always seems to either have (or can acquire) whatever gear someone is looking for.Always one with a friendly smile, she is quick to flirt with any member of the opposite sex. Of course, her way of using knives as part of her flirting ritual scares away most of the men she meets. She is hoping for a Prince Charming adventurer to sweep her off her feet and take her out of her life to something more exciting.
It;s always nice to find a decent random generator site for RPGs. I don’t know how long Chaotic Shiny ( chaoticshiny.com) has been around, but I just discovered the awesome randomness contained herein. It has some interesting generators with some obvious Risus applications. The Class Mashup Generator, for instance, produces some very cliche-worthy results:
Hydronight Warlock of Treachery and Freedom
Lynx Guardian of Mysteries
Pyroninja-Thief of Sin and Neutrality
The Crowd Generator likewise produces some great hooks for building spur-of-the-moment NPCs::
The attractive, sullen woman who keeps tripping over things.
The overweight, distraught woman who is holding a drawn sword.
The stout, obnoxious old woman who is accompanied by a servant.
The unattractive, arrogant young man who is leaning against a wall.
The ugly, determined young woman who appears to have just been in a scuffle.
It has a huge number of other great generators in for peoples, places, names, accessories, “color”, evil, plot/writing, and “silly” that will be of use to any GM, of course, and any Risus GM can probably find many more uses than I’ve presented here. Check it out!
Full Contact Magic is a clever little supplement freely available over at the Engine of Thwaak. Basic idea, is that the world was created by magical Lords and Ladies, who for unknown reasons left their creation before it was quite finished (some say a war back in their home world pulled them away).
Of course, the world descended into a bit of chaos, but has settled back down a bit more. It is now a somewhat respectable fantasy world.
Full Contact Magic provides information for the 13 tribes (the races created by the Lords and Ladies). The tribes seem to follow the fantasy tropes; you can see where each tribe fits in with more traditional fantasy RPGs without looking too hard. The tribe I am most intrigued by is the Geisa - a ghost-like group formed from when magic goes wrong.
Where Full Contact Magic breaks the mold a bit is in the magic (which you might expect based on the name of the supplement).
There are two magic styles detailed in the supplement: Arcanomancy (magic involving machines of all types) and Ethermancy (a magical communication internet). Many other magical styles are mentioned, but no details are present and left for the GM to determine just what they might mean (which strangely enough includes the titular Full Contact Magic).
Sample clichés abound, and there is quite a nice sampling of a game world to build from. I liked the concept of the island/continents actually floating on the ocean as opposed to being fixed. There is enough detail to get a feeling for the setting without being too draconian.
Overall, this is another great free setting for Risus!
Cursed by a rival wizard, you are stuck with an awful stutter. Any magic that requires a verbal component is very difficult for you unless you sing it out. This has led to a nickname of the Crooning Wizard which drives you crazy; you are becoming quite (in)famous for it.
If you try not to sing out your spells, the difficulty of your spell goes way up. If someone calls you the Crooning Wizard, you are liable to loose your temper, which makes it even harder to cast your spells.
You have not yet been able to find a remedy (your rival says he has one but there is no way you’d stoop to asking him for it).
This was posted to the RisusTalk mailing list…an amazing example of Risus combat in action:
There have already been some excellent answers to this, but here’s the crux. I would contend that RISUS is one of the few RPGs (please chime in with others but purely narrativist systems are cheating!) that would allow me to have the sword fight that I’ve always wanted to have in an RPG. The coolest. sword fight. ever. I’m talking about the encounter between The Masked Man (Dread Pirate Robinson) (6) and Inigo Montoya 20 years seeking revenge for the death of his father at the hand of the 6 fingered man (6) in The Princess Bride (10!).
Any mainstream “trading blows” system would make this fight essentially impossible to recreate. RISUS, OTOH, can have this happen because “your Cliche is not HP”, it can just be tactical advantage. No one is injured during this fight, and the loser doesn’t die at the end.
And that’s the most powerful feature of RISUS IMHO. The downward spiral means you can have your PCs whupped but not killed or even captured (losing all their cliche dice may just mean they are forced to flee or retreat). Certainly, if I _want_ to have the PCs captured, then I just stick in an encounter with a foe with +2 cliche dice and, as it’s been observed, this pretty much guarantees they’ll lose. As the GM I get to narrate what “lose” entails.
So just for fun, here’s the fight according to RISUS (thanks to http://www.princessbride.8m.com/script.htm#16 for the script) Here I’ve shown some representative rolls and the narration that I think follows them. YMMV.
Inigo (6): You seem a decent fellow. I hate to kill you.
Man In Black (6): You seem a decent fellow. I hate to die.
Inigo (6) rolls 12
MIB (6) rolls 19
Inigo (5): You are using Bonetti’s defense against me, uh?
Man In Black (6): I thought it fitting, considering the rocky terrain.
Inigo (5) rolls 20
MIB (6) rolls 20
A draw - no effect.
Inigo (5): Naturally, you must expect me to attack with Capo Ferro.
Man In Black (6): Naturally, but I find that Thibault cancels out Capo Ferro, don’t you?
Inigo (5) rolls 22
MIB rolls (6) 19
Inigo (5): Unless the enemy has studied his Agrippa, *Jumps after him* which I have!
Inigo (5) rolls 14
MIB (5) rolls 17
Inigo (4): You are wonderful!
Man In Black (5): Thank you. I’ve worked hard to become so.
Inigo (4): I admit it, you are better than I am.
Inigo (4) rolls 20
MIB (5) rolls 13
Man In Black (4): Then why are you smiling? *Forces Inigo toward the cliff’s edge*
Inigo: Because I know something you don’t know.
Man In Black: And what is that?
Inigo (4): I am not left-handed.
*Switches hands, they begin to move up the stairs*
Man In Black (4): You’re amazing!
Inigo (4): I ought to be after twenty years.
*Begins to force Man in Black toward a balcony. His body moves the rocks*
Inigo (4) rolls 17
MIB (4) rolls 18
Man In Black (4): There is something I ought to tell you.
Inigo (3): Tell me.
Man In Black (4): I’m not left-handed either.
*Switches hands and flourishes sword*
Inigo (3) rolls 12
MIB (4) rolls 19
The Man in Black knocks Inigo’s sword from his hand. Inigo jumps down to retrieve it. The Man in Black tosses his sword into a patch of grass. He flips over a beam and lands next to his sword, plucking it from the ground.
Inigo (2): Who are you?
Man In Black (4): No one of consequence.
Inigo (2): I must know.
Man In Black (4): Get used to disappointment.
Inigo (2): Shrugs. Okay.
Inigo (2) rolls 9
MIB (4) rolls 13
They continue to fight until the Man In Black knocks Inigo’s sword from his hands.
Inigo (1): Kneeling. Kill me quickly.
Man In Black (4):*Circling Inigo* I would as soon destroy a stained-glass window as an artist like yourself. However, since I can’t have you following me either….
Inigo (1) rolls 6
MIB (4) rolls 11
* The Man In Black hits Inigo over the head with the hilt of his sword.
* Inigo hits the ground, out cold.
Man In Black (4): Please understand I hold you in the highest respect. *Runs off*
Incidentally, for the next encounter (Fezzik) I would allow the MIB to recover all his cliche dice as all the lost dice were essentially tactical advantage.
It is a happy day in the kingdom; the young King has found true love and is to wed his beloved. The brave adventurers are invited (along with most of the nobles and other high ranking officials).
The couple complete their vows. Suddenly, something terrible happens. The King and his new Queen are murdered in front of everyone. It appears as if the culprit is one (or more) of the PCs (incriminating arrows or some such that could be tied back to the PCs).
What will the party do?
I’ve been playing way too much Book of Heroes (available for iOS and Android)…I think what makes it so addictive is that you have multiple “quests” or story lines all going on at the same time. I think that we have to remember that when working on adventures for good old fashioned RPGs.
Let players have more say in what quest they want to work on at a given time. Unlike Book of Heroes, you can add a timeline to the quests so that they don’t linger while players are off doing something else. You can add in repercussions for the times when they ignore something for too long.
Make your game addictive!