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A Random Selection From Sjohn's Risus Toybox

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  • S. John Ross
    Risus Combat Options: Levelling the Playing Field These are Risus combat variants for games where it s desirable to have subtler gradation between the cliché
    Message 1 of 6 , Oct 25, 2001
      Risus Combat Options: Levelling the Playing Field

      These are Risus combat variants for games where it's desirable to have
      subtler gradation between the cliché levels - where a bitter argument
      between an Angry Punk(5) and a Merely Irritated Punk(3) is less of a
      foregone conclusion.

      These variants change only the combat rules. Target numbers and
      single-action conflicts aren't affected by them, nor are the Teaming Up
      rules. These options don't add or subtract any complexity to Risus; they
      just change the odds.

      ***

      METHOD ONE: Best Face

      Instead of adding all the dice rolled in combat, combatants use only the
      single highest die rolled (multiples are ignored). So, if an Angry Punk(5)
      attacks with the result of 5/4/4/4/1, his total for the combat is 5. If
      Merely Irritated Punk(3) responds with a 3/3/2, his own total is 3. Angry
      Punk wins the round.

      METHOD TWO: High Dice

      As above, but don't ignore multiples. So, if an Angry Punk(5) attacks with
      the result of 5/4/4/4/1, his total for the combat is still 5 (since he only
      has one instance of his highest face). If Merely Irritated Punk(3) responds
      with a 4/4/1, his own total is 8 (the pair of fours). The Merely Irritated
      Punk wins, this time.

      METHOD THREE: Best Set

      The highest face is unimportant; only the most valuable set matters. So, if
      an Angry Punk(5) attacks with the result of 5/4/4/4/1, his total for the
      combat is 12 (his "best set" is the triplet of fours, worth 12). If Merely
      Irritated Punk(3) responds with a 4/4/1, his own total is 8, so Angry Punk
      prevails.

      ***

      These options smooth out the curve in Risus combat to a level more
      appropriate for some serious genres (because a lot of folks go right on
      insisting, which is cool). Since the normal Risus rules are designed to
      encourage the use of Inappropriate Clichés and "jumps" between multiple
      clichés (and the notion that victory and loss aren't all that important),
      use these rules in genres where these points of emphasis feel less at home.

      Note that these rules have several subtle side-effects that must be
      considered (they make PC teams and Funky Dice more powerful, for example).
      I'll be using one of them in this Friday's game, so I was in the mood to
      post 'em :)


      || S. John Ross
      || Husband · Cook · Writer
      || In That Order
      || http://www.io.com/~sjohn
    • Guy Hoyle
      Thanks for posting these! I think I like best set the best, and will probably use that in my pulp game. Unless somebody convinces me otherwise. Guy
      Message 2 of 6 , Oct 25, 2001
        Thanks for posting these! I think I like "best set" the best, and will probably use that in my pulp game. Unless somebody convinces me otherwise.

        Guy

        *********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********

        On 10/25/2001 at 10:40 AM S. John Ross wrote:

        >Risus Combat Options: Levelling the Playing Field
        >
        >These are Risus combat variants for games where it's desirable to have
        >subtler gradation between the cliché levels - where a bitter argument
        >between an Angry Punk(5) and a Merely Irritated Punk(3) is less of a
        >foregone conclusion.
        >
        >These variants change only the combat rules. Target numbers and
        >single-action conflicts aren't affected by them, nor are the Teaming Up
        >rules. These options don't add or subtract any complexity to Risus; they
        >just change the odds.
        >
        >***
        >
        >METHOD ONE: Best Face
        >
        >Instead of adding all the dice rolled in combat, combatants use only the
        >single highest die rolled (multiples are ignored). So, if an Angry Punk(5)
        >attacks with the result of 5/4/4/4/1, his total for the combat is 5. If
        >Merely Irritated Punk(3) responds with a 3/3/2, his own total is 3. Angry
        >Punk wins the round.
        >
        >METHOD TWO: High Dice
        >
        >As above, but don't ignore multiples. So, if an Angry Punk(5) attacks with
        >the result of 5/4/4/4/1, his total for the combat is still 5 (since he
        >only
        >has one instance of his highest face). If Merely Irritated Punk(3)
        >responds
        >with a 4/4/1, his own total is 8 (the pair of fours). The Merely Irritated
        >Punk wins, this time.
        >
        >METHOD THREE: Best Set
        >
        >The highest face is unimportant; only the most valuable set matters. So,
        >if
        >an Angry Punk(5) attacks with the result of 5/4/4/4/1, his total for the
        >combat is 12 (his "best set" is the triplet of fours, worth 12). If Merely
        >Irritated Punk(3) responds with a 4/4/1, his own total is 8, so Angry Punk
        >prevails.
        >
        >***
        >
        >These options smooth out the curve in Risus combat to a level more
        >appropriate for some serious genres (because a lot of folks go right on
        >insisting, which is cool). Since the normal Risus rules are designed to
        >encourage the use of Inappropriate Clichés and "jumps" between multiple
        >clichés (and the notion that victory and loss aren't all that important),
        >use these rules in genres where these points of emphasis feel less at home.
        >
        >Note that these rules have several subtle side-effects that must be
        >considered (they make PC teams and Funky Dice more powerful, for example).
        >I'll be using one of them in this Friday's game, so I was in the mood to
        >post 'em :)
        >
        >
        >|| S. John Ross
        >|| Husband · Cook · Writer
        >|| In That Order
        >|| http://www.io.com/~sjohn
        >
        >
        >
        >Risus: The Anything RPG!
        >http://www.io.com/~sjohn/risus.htm
        >
        >
        >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/


        Guy Hoyle (ghoyle1@...)
        "I used to think, "Mind control satellites? No way!' But now, I can't remember what we did without 'em."
      • ghoyle1@airmail.net
        ... example). I must be stupid or something, but how does this make them more powerful? Guy
        Message 3 of 6 , Oct 26, 2001
          --- In risus@y..., "S. John Ross" <sjohn@i...> wrote:
          > Note that these rules have several subtle side-effects that must be
          > considered (they make PC teams and Funky Dice more powerful, for
          example).

          I must be stupid or something, but how does this make them more
          powerful?

          Guy
        • Hollis McCray
          An interesting variant. Is this an example of what we may expect from the ever-delayed (and nigh-mythical) Risus Companion? ... ===== Hollis McCray Some
          Message 4 of 6 , Oct 26, 2001
            An interesting variant. Is this an example of what we
            may expect from the ever-delayed (and nigh-mythical)
            Risus Companion?


            --- "S. John Ross" <sjohn@...> wrote:
            > Risus Combat Options: Levelling the Playing Field
            >
            > These are Risus combat variants for games where it's
            > desirable to have
            > subtler gradation between the clich� levels - where
            > a bitter argument
            > between an Angry Punk(5) and a Merely Irritated
            > Punk(3) is less of a
            > foregone conclusion.
            >
            > These variants change only the combat rules. Target
            > numbers and
            > single-action conflicts aren't affected by them, nor
            > are the Teaming Up
            > rules. These options don't add or subtract any
            > complexity to Risus; they
            > just change the odds.
            >
            > ***
            >
            > METHOD ONE: Best Face
            >
            > Instead of adding all the dice rolled in combat,
            > combatants use only the
            > single highest die rolled (multiples are ignored).
            > So, if an Angry Punk(5)
            > attacks with the result of 5/4/4/4/1, his total for
            > the combat is 5. If
            > Merely Irritated Punk(3) responds with a 3/3/2, his
            > own total is 3. Angry
            > Punk wins the round.
            >
            > METHOD TWO: High Dice
            >
            > As above, but don't ignore multiples. So, if an
            > Angry Punk(5) attacks with
            > the result of 5/4/4/4/1, his total for the combat is
            > still 5 (since he only
            > has one instance of his highest face). If Merely
            > Irritated Punk(3) responds
            > with a 4/4/1, his own total is 8 (the pair of
            > fours). The Merely Irritated
            > Punk wins, this time.
            >
            > METHOD THREE: Best Set
            >
            > The highest face is unimportant; only the most
            > valuable set matters. So, if
            > an Angry Punk(5) attacks with the result of
            > 5/4/4/4/1, his total for the
            > combat is 12 (his "best set" is the triplet of
            > fours, worth 12). If Merely
            > Irritated Punk(3) responds with a 4/4/1, his own
            > total is 8, so Angry Punk
            > prevails.
            >
            > ***
            >
            > These options smooth out the curve in Risus combat
            > to a level more
            > appropriate for some serious genres (because a lot
            > of folks go right on
            > insisting, which is cool). Since the normal Risus
            > rules are designed to
            > encourage the use of Inappropriate Clich�s and
            > "jumps" between multiple
            > clich�s (and the notion that victory and loss aren't
            > all that important),
            > use these rules in genres where these points of
            > emphasis feel less at home.
            >
            > Note that these rules have several subtle
            > side-effects that must be
            > considered (they make PC teams and Funky Dice more
            > powerful, for example).
            > I'll be using one of them in this Friday's game, so
            > I was in the mood to
            > post 'em :)
            >
            >
            > || S. John Ross
            > || Husband � Cook � Writer
            > || In That Order
            > || http://www.io.com/~sjohn
            >
            >
            > ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
            >
            > Risus: The Anything RPG!
            > http://www.io.com/~sjohn/risus.htm
            >
            >
            > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
            > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
            >
            >


            =====
            Hollis McCray

            "Some people have one-track minds.
            Mine's a rollercoaster."

            e-mail: strangething@...
            Website: http://www.geocities.com/strangething

            __________________________________________________
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          • S. John Ross
            ... Yes and no. Yes, because those, and a handful of other customizing options, will be in the Companion. No, because it s not really _representative_ of
            Message 5 of 6 , Oct 26, 2001
              >An interesting variant. Is this an example of what we
              >may expect from the ever-delayed (and nigh-mythical)
              >Risus Companion?

              Yes and no. "Yes," because those, and a handful of other customizing
              options, will be in the Companion. "No," because it's not really
              _representative_ of what's in the Companion, which is primarily a guide to
              the inner workings of the design and how to make it DO stuff. For a lot of
              GMs (if my email inbox is any guide), the mental shift to the Risus
              approach is a tricky walk to manage . . .

              The Companion is, primarily, a kind of "user's manual" that explores how to
              get the most out of Risus in a variety of genres. It'll also have bigass
              cliche lists and variants and things, but the meat of it is a series of
              articles on just why and how it really is "The Anything RPG" once you tune
              your brain to the Risus frequency.

              It's a very quirky and odd little thing, in addition to skirting on the
              edge of the Vaporwariverse :)

              But it'll be really cheap, if that helps :)


              || S. John Ross
              || Husband · Cook · Writer
              || In That Order
              || http://www.io.com/~sjohn
            • S. John Ross
              ... Because it creates more absolute zones of exclusion. For example, in normal Risus, a Clumsy Brick(1d20) versus a Dark Vigilante Crusader(6) is just plain
              Message 6 of 6 , Oct 26, 2001
                At 08:52 PM 10/26/2001 +0000, you wrote:
                >--- In risus@y..., "S. John Ross" <sjohn@i...> wrote:
                > > Note that these rules have several subtle side-effects that must be
                > > considered (they make PC teams and Funky Dice more powerful, for
                >example).
                >
                >I must be stupid or something, but how does this make them more
                >powerful?

                Because it creates more absolute zones of exclusion. For example, in normal
                Risus, a Clumsy Brick(1d20) versus a Dark Vigilante Crusader(6) is just
                plain toast. The DVC's _average_ output is a total of 21, and on a very
                steep and reliable bellcurve. So the Brick will have all the muscle but
                none of the moves, and may not even harm a thread on DVC's imposing cowl.

                In systems where the face is more important than the total, the muscle can
                still defeat the moves, and it becomes more of a question-mark. If Method
                One is used, for example, and the Brick rolls a 7 or higher, nothing the
                DVC rolls will touch that. A 7 beats a 6 any day, and the DVC simply can't
                roll better than a six.

                That doesn't mean the DVC is doomed ... In fact, he's still got an
                excellent chance of winning, since if the Brick rolls a 1-5 (and that'll
                happen 25% of the time), all the DVC needs to do is win ONCE and the fight
                is over. But it's more of a risk for the DVC. Arguably, this is more
                "realistic" in some genres, so I didn't let it deter me when writing the
                options (yes, I think all these things through very carefully) :) In fact,
                these rules bring Funky Dice more in line with what they _cost,_
                counteracting my deliberate "softening" of their value in Risus.

                In sum: Funky Dice can make rolls that no d6 can touch. It won't happen all
                the time, but it does play havoc with some of the odds (not, IMO, in a bad
                way - just a noticeable one).

                With methods Two and Three, the DVC has the chance of getting doubles and
                triples and so on as "critical hits" of a kind to have even more
                opportunities . . . But in every case, the 1d20 guy is better off (slightly
                or more than slightly) than he was in standard Risus. The degree by which
                he's better off varies, but that's the whole idea: to create methods of
                customizing the bellcurve to the needs and tastes of the group.

                PC teams become more powerful because none of the options change the way
                they work, so they're contributing the same values as they were before,
                while the Team Leader is contributing (on average) much less than he was
                (but still more than any other Team member, in most rounds).

                Use as you like, ignore as you please :) There's no wrong way.


                || S. John Ross
                || Husband · Cook · Writer
                || In That Order
                || http://www.io.com/~sjohn
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