Tuesday, December 1, 2015


Risus is an RPG that I've only tried once in a GM chatroom. For some reason, I never took it seriously. After reading John's post on it, I decided to give it another read. I find it much more palatable than I previously did.

I knocked these characters out in like 20 minutes. Weirdly, Risus has given me a better understanding of some of the concepts in Fate... maybe I just need to treat Fate like a more complex Risus....

Grinvald Van Teer
Cliches: Alchemist (4), Know-It-All (3), Grenade Lobber (3), Narcissist (2)

Tools of the Trade: Alchemy Lab in the city of Vorqvist, Bottles and Vials, Book of Alchemical Recipes

Hook: Obsessed with the Potion of Immorality

Tale: Born to a wealthy family in the commercial city of Holjar, the scrawny and bookish Grinvald was dubbed unsuitable for anything but a life of academia. Exhibiting a natural talent for chemistry at University, he went to study at the Academy of Transmutation at Vorqvist. Having become a full-fledged and guilded alchemist, Grinvald has made it his life's goal to...extend his life. Indefinitely. Vain and self-obsessed, Grinvald simply cannot imagine a world without himself in it.

Insectoid Alien Mercenary (4), Horrific Natural Weapons (4), Pilot (2), Inscrutable (2)

Tools of the Trade: Junker Spaceship, Alien Talismans

Hook: Hive-Mind Mentality

Tale: Yttk is one of the only survivors of the alien lifeform classified as Insectoid Xenomorph-234. Artificially engineered and bred by an unknown progenitor race, the IX-234 were destroyed after a prolonged war with the Galactic Collective. Once all of the Hive ships were destroyed, the surviving soldiers and drones acquired free will. While distrusted and often mistreated, some try to make their way in polite galactic society. Yttk scrapes by as a mercenary, using its armor-piercing mandibles, acidic spittle, and spike-covered exoskeleton to earn a living. Lacking even a name, Yttk is so-called by his confederates from the noise it most often makes while lost in thought.

Lita Benett
Werewolf  (3), Bartender (2), Brawler (3), Survivor (3), Cooler (1)

Tools of the Trade: Bottle of Meds, Bottle of Jack, Fringed Leather Jacket

Hook: Afraid of Intimacy

Tale: Born the youngest of five children in Woodstock, Vermont, She ran away with a no-good boy at 16, dumped him at 17, and got straight up mauled by a werewolf on a lonely stretch of highway in Michigan at 18. She'd have surely died if a semi-truck hadn't hit the creature as it was closing in to finish her off. She lived as a hermit in the woods for a few months until she was taken in by a pack of fellow werewolves  who taught her to manage her condition.
Ten years later, Lita works as a bartender in a roadside bar called Perdition. The bar is neutral ground among the supernatural community, and Lita acts as a bouncer as well as a bartender.

Alphonse Baptiste
Grizzled Savateur (3), PARKOUR! (3), Silver Tongue (2), Pickpocket (2), Criminal Connections (1)

Tools of the Trade: Winning smile, wrist/ankle wraps

Hook: Favors Owed to Shady Underworld Figures

Tale: Alphonse grew up as an orphan on the mean streets of Marseille in France. He learned how to lie, cheat, and steal in order to survive. He finally ended up as an errand boy for the Marseille underworld. Demonstrating a natural talent for athletics and fighting, Alphonse was trained by underworld muscle in the arts of Savate.
As he grew into adulthood, Alphonse grew weary of the life of a criminal and thug, earning his freedom by saving the daughter of a dangerous crime boss. He has since traveled to Thailand to fight in secretive black market tournaments, but he hasn't left his shady past behind entirely.


  1. Niiice. I thik unlike traditional rpgs, where only the gm has to read the rules & his interpretation inspires play, for Risus players too need to read it, get it, then be inspired to run with it.

    1. Agreed...this seems like a "buy in heavy" type of game, which I'm alright with. Not all my players in all my groups would be into this, but I bet enough of them would.

  2. I've played Risus one-offs on multiple occasions, and cannot for the life of me remember the system. FATE (which seems to be taking some bashing this week) may be a little "too cute" mechanics-wise, considering its Risus-like aims.

    1. To what bashing do you refer, sir?

    2. I have some Fate bashing I'd like to do!

      >>>Risus has given me a better understanding of some of the concepts in Fate... maybe I just need to treat Fate like a more complex Risus....

      The problem with this is: you still have to contend with the fate point economy. And as we all know, fate points were invented when some guy looked at Savage Worlds and said, "You know, bennies are cool and all, but could we maybe find some way to make them less interesting and more intrusive?"

    3. John:

      My reply to your assessment of Fate Points: