I have had a love/hate relationship with Risus for about three years now. For the longest time I struggled to find any brave souls to attempt this unique game system with me. When I finally did, well, I hated it. This was partly due to a misunderstanding between a player and I. I wanted Risus to be the universal system I have always looked for, where he saw it, probably rightly, as a simple comedic, fun game and proceeded to do some fancy Wushu-like moves. The rest of us were a little dumbfounded by his acrobatics. I have sinse chaulked this up as my not stating the entent behind the game clearly. Since then, prior to running any Risus game, I make sure the entent is clearly presented to the players so they and I know what each is expecting in the session. Is it flat out comedy? Is it a serious dungeon delve? Does it lie somewhere in ‘teh awesomeness’ in between?
I recently ran another session with Risus and I can say that I was not entirely thrilled with how it went. The player(s) liked it so they said, but I just felt something was amiss. Again, something was off a tad. Again, this was an attempt to run a serious game using Risus. It is a homebrew setting called Lavinlore and is a mish mash of a few different genres and ideas all thrown together. Either way, I am starting to wonder.
I really feel that Risus IS a universal and amazingly adaptable gaming system, I am struggling with implementing it, and it is driving me nuts. I consider myself a fairly adept GM: having ran too-many-to-count campaigns…usually with players clamoring to get into the game, creating a few of my own worlds, and generally GMing for almost 25+ years. I thought i could tackle any game system with ease (not that I would want to, the D&D4 is a beast that I wouldn’t touch with your…well, you know). I really love Risus. I love how everything literally is possible with it, and setting, any genre, any thing. I find it difficult NOT to think in terms of Risus when I read another system, think how much better Risus could do it.
But man, Risus has seriously got me questioning myself. Have I lost it? Am I no longer the GM I used to be? Has this little 6 pages RPG kicked my ‘tocks? I am hoping not, and maybe Alex is right, I should jsut stick with it and push on through. Games have a way of working themselves out and with a little elbow grease (thats work, for all you youngin’s) this one could do the same.
That said, I am considering calling off my hopefully someday weekly game called Lavinlore and run a old school D&D module (maybe even use an actual TSR module) using Risus. OD&D is something any retarded ghoul could play, if Risus fails at this, or it feels odd, well, I hate to say it, but the search may be on again to find snikle’s System of Choice™.