Risus: The World of Ardus


I finished reading John Scalzi’s Fuzzy Nation last night and I was truly inspired (review being written). I had approached the book with a bit of trepidation because I LOVED the original when I read it twenty-five years ago. Would this one live up to the original, I will happily tell you yes! In any case,  I was in an unusually happy mood and with me that transpires to me in equal portions of creative juices.

I wanted to play Fuzzy Nation. However, no game exists. I spent 30 seconds thinking about it and then emailed my buddies. “I want to play sci-fi. Let’s use Risus or Rogue Space!”

A little back story.

I love Risus. I hate Risus. I have long loved the system, so easily adaptable and a perfect no prep game. It hits all the sweet spots for me minus one. I hate the ‘health/hit-point system’ is utilizes. Commonly referred to among those in the know as The Spiral of Death. Every time I have looked at Risus I see this as a huge stop light blinking at me with a massively blinding red spotlight.

I have been toying with the idea of a scifi game since my maps were selected to be included in Brave Halfling Publishing’s X-Plorers reboot, but I am an impatient lot. Waiting for it to come out has taken its toll and the thoughts havd fled my brain until I read this book.

We didn’t have all of our players so I wanted to do something else tonight at the game table. I spent about two hours writing up a quick seven page (on half sheets) primer on a world called Ardus. I liberally stole ideas from the novel and some basic TV Tropes ideas, most namely the evil mega-corporation. I posted it here for anyone to read. A note of caution however, this was written in one shot, late in the evening with zero editing.

Toying with the idea of fleshing this out some, providing a map, some art and publishing this as a ‘8 Page Setting’ much as Brent has done.

Needless to say, I spent a little too much time tonight talking about the world I made up for the game and then the players had a little trouble switching gears from a fantasy setting (we have been playing OSH lately) to a sci-fi setting. One player I believe passed out form too much laughter and too much wine. Then we were off, it took a bit and we only did one encounter, but I think it went well.

I can honestly say this was the first session of Risus, albeit a short one, that I have ever felt comfortable running and ended up having a great time with the system. I will post more about some on the fly decisions I made about Risus and the aforementioned SoD and how I think I may have solved it, for me at least.

So, yeah, FINALLY!

Risus Fan Forum Pimpage: http://risusrpg.proboards.com/index.cgi


4 thoughts on “Risus: The World of Ardus

  1. Awesome! The death spiral is the #1 reason why I cannot run the game for my local group (one player in particular has a problem with it). But I have never failed to enjoy the games that I have run using the system. It’s good to see that you had good experience. I definitely look forward to hearing more.

    1. I wrote up some alternative rules, based on some rules you are familiar with from a certain Old School game you and I share some love for. You will recognize them immediately as blatantly stolen. I should post it later this weekend or next week. I can send it to you if you want to take a sneak peek.

  2. Did you consider using The Exchange [https://sites.google.com/site/amagigames/the-exchange/TheExchange.pdf]? It’s similar to Risus in its simplicity but it solves the damage issue in an enriching way.

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