Risus, the anything RPG, claims to comprise all kinds of conceivable settings. And it does so quite perfectly. In fact, Risus does not focus on a particular setting or background, but offers generic rules that are applicable to any kind of scenario.
Risus's rules are simple. It uses Clichés to express a character's competence (or weakness) in a certain field, be it knowledge, profession or archetypical behaviour. The score a Cliché is assigned yields the amount of dice a player is allowed to cast to determine the success of his or her action. Characters either roll against one another, making opposed rolls, or against a static value assigned by the GM, reflecting the difficulty of an action.
Risus is mostly about having fun and about playing stereotypical characters (guess what the term Cliché is derived from), using a quick and fluent style of play that is based on dice, and thus chance, to a great extend. It seems to provoke players to fall into slap stick behaviour with their characters, regardless of them being weak losers or powerful heroes. Risus is not so much about winning or losing or achieving serious goals, but about having fun no matter what. This is best done while playing episodical one-shots instead of consecutive sessions. However, in theory, it could also be used to play lengthly, earnest campaigns that last for several months of real time.
Last modified at 2001-06-19.