|Designer(s)||S. John Ross|
|Publisher(s)||Cumberland Games and Diversions|
|Publication Date||1989, 1993|
A free system from by S. John Ross, Risus is an extremely light RPG similiar to Over the Edge. It's suppose to be silly, but can be used as a serious system if required. Players select 'cliches', a catch-all talent instead of individual skills, to represent the character's abilities and knowledge. For instance, a cliche might be 'Pirate King,' 'Moody Teenager,' or 'Evil Zombie Necromancer.' Players then put dice in these cliches, to represent the skill they have. An average game has characters with 12 dice, 4 dice maximum in a cliche.
Combat is extremely easy, with the combatants rolling the number of dice they have in their skill. If the number Player A gets is greater than Player B, Player B loses one of his dice and the players roll again. This continues until one player loses his last die. Combat doesn't have to physical fighting, but any form of competition where the player is being opposed by someone. It can be anything from seduction, a dance contest, or month long lovers spat. Bonuses are given if a player can make a convincing argument for an inappropriate cliche, such as Sous-chef in a firefight.
Risus and supplements can be found for free here.