Please let me introduce my latest Risus shenanigan to you :)
For role players, it’s often disappointing and boring that the
experience points of their characters don’t carry over into a new game
world, and they have to start from scratch there. The “Amazing Engine”
system of TSR shows that there’s another way to handle this.
In “Amazing Engine”, each player actually creates multiple characters:
first a so-called core character, and then a player character for each
The core character serves as the basis for all the player’s characters
and determines certain characteristics — which are refleced in each
player character. Examples for those characteristics are gender, height
and broad ability categories.
A game world/Setting then comes with certain modifiers to these basic
AMAZING RISUS is my interpretation of this idea for Risus.
First: the core character
The core character gets 5 cliché dice to distribute. They don’t go
into specific cliches, but in three very broad cliche categories.
b) Spiritual / Psychic (which includes magic)
c) Social (including also influence and wealth)
For my core character, I distribute the 5 dice as follows: 3 into
Physical, 1 into Intellectual, and another 1 into Social. I don’t write
down any cliches for the core character because cliches are world and
Second: the player character, also called “world character”
Each world character is built on the core character. Each setting
introduces certain adjustments of the core character. This includes
adjusting the number of cliché dice for the character creation.
My Shadowrun setting for Risus gives the characters one additional
cliché die to distribute. As mentioned above, my core character has
these cliche categories:
Physical: 3 cliche dice
Intellectual: 1 cliché dice
Social: 1 cliché dice
My Risus Shadowrun setting grants me one additional die for my
character. I decide to put it into the Intellectual category. For my
Risus Shadowrun character, I now get 3 cliché dice for physical
cliches, 2 dice for intellectual cliches, and one die for social
Now it gets exciting. Unlike off-the-shelf, rules-as-written Risus
characters, Amazing Risus characters need experience points to get
better at doing things (improve their cliches).
After each session, the GM awards between 1 and 3 experience points to
each player. As always, the exact number depends on the assessment of
Players then have to decide how many experience points they give the
core character and the world character.
This has strategic reasons. If a player distributes more experience
points to the core character, he gives the core character the
opportunity to get more cliché dice.
This doesn’t help or improve any of his current world characters. But
when the player creates a new world-character later, this character
will be based on the core character and thus already gets more dice to
Giving experience points to the core character will give future world
characters a better start, but doesn’t do anything for world characters
that already exist.
If, on the other hand, a player distributes more experience points to
the world-character, he improves this specific character. This is
helpful for the character in the game world, but it has no benefit for
the core character or other characters that are created for this game
Spending experience points for the core character is a long term
investment. Spending experience points for a world character is a
IMMEDIATELY after the DISTRIBUTION of experience points, the player
- buy a new cliche die for the core character and put it into one of
the three categories. The new die costs 30 experience points, or
- improve an existing cliche of the world character. That costs as many
points as the new (increased) number of cliché dice times 6 (an
increase of 3 to 4 dice would cost 24 experience points), or
- buy a new cliche for the World character. This costs 6 experience
points (or 12, if the cliché is double-pumped), or
- buy “Lucky Shots” for the world character. 3 Lucky Shots cost 6
The player can also combine two or more of these options.