Risus, the Zen of

By chance I came across this post and it really got me thinking about the Zen of Risus:

http://risusiverse.wetpaint.com/page/Even+More+Insanity! Specifically this part:

Start with the following 2 tenets:
1. Just as characters are living, breathing, and evolving entities, so are their clichés.
2. Target Numbers (TN) are arbitrary.

It really got me thinking about how the clichés could be modified in play as a way to show progression and depth in the game without adding a single bit of complexity. I think as a GM I have always thought the TN were a bit in flux due to the situation the characters find themselves in, I have never thought they were locked in so number 2 is not  that much of a shocker to me. So forget about number two for now, that should be a fact of the game for a Risus gamer.

Now take number one though, and wow, it changes the game drastically. Given the core ideas behind Risus, this actually makes a lot of sense to me. I can very easily see that after a particularly difficult battle with a Three Headed Nyrlentherp wherein Bartholomew witnessed his beloved get her head removed, we change his cliché from A Lover and A Warrior(4) to A Broken Hearted Warrior Forging A Path Through Hell (4). As a player I would enjoy this aspect because it allows me to grow my character….through play, the best way to do so. As a GM, I like this as well because it allows the players to have some control of their character’s growth without really giving them more power or changing the game in a significant way. Good stuff!

This I think will create an interesting dynamic in the game in that it allows characters to grow and change over time by adding depth to the character, and in effect creating a living history for the character, without changing a single rule in the Risus manual.

This is not so much a change in the game, as it is a change in the perception of the game.


2 thoughts on “Risus, the Zen of

    1. Been feeling that gaming itch really strong lately. As it turns out, it looks like I will have two games going on at once: one via skype messaging on our iPhones and the other via email.

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