Risus: The Wargame
A Modification of Risus: The Anything RPG
Created by David Masad
Welcome to Risus: the Wargame. R:tW is a
wargame based on Risus: The Anything RPG by S. John Ross. Risus is an RPG
Lite, meant for playing when nobody wants to bother with complex rules.
Similarly, R:tW is meant for late-night wargaming, when everyone's
too tired to try to handle exact details. R:tW also offers the opportunity
to wargame scenarios no other wargame even comes close to covering (Invasion
Of The Novelists, anyone?). These rules are meant for people who already
know the Risus rules, so if you don't be sure to get them here.
Like regular Risus, R:tW is meant to be as generalized as possible. Thus, these rules will use abstract numbers for all ratings. It is up to you to map these numbers to hexes, inches, squares, or whatever you happen to be using. Many rules might not be appropriate for certain settings and you should feel free to modify them to suite your needs.
Units in Risus: the Wargame are essentially
identical to regular Risus characters, except that they are also represented
on the board (or table, or screen, or whatever) by a figure (or chit, or
model, or whatever). Like Risus characters, R:tW units have Cliches that
define who they are, what they can do, etc. For more information on units,
see Creating Units later in the text.
Every turn of Risus: the Wargame proceeds in the same sequence. When playing with more than two players, modify accordingly.
2) Movement Phase
3) Combat Phase
4) Final Phase
Both players roll their leader unit's leadership Cliche. Highest roll wins and gains the initiative for that round. If a player has no leader units the other player automatically gains the initiative.
The player who lost the initiative roll moves first. Then the player who won it.
The player who won the initiative roll attacks first. Once all their attacks are complete, the next player attacks.
This is when reinforcements come in, etc.
Units can generally
move as far as their Cliche rating. If a unit has more than one Cliche,
it is up to the player which Cliche the unit uses. Note that this is important,
as it defines how the unit is moving, which in turn effects other
things. For example: A Biker Marine squad with Badass Bikers (2)
and Jumptroopers (3) would be able to move 2 by bikes or 3 by jetpacks.
However, moving by jetpacks makes them vulnerable to attack by the enemy's
Gun (4). Terrain considerations are left up to the players, and depend
on the setting and scenario. Units are considered to have a line of sight
of 180 degrees in front of them (or similar, if you are using hexes, squares,
etc.), and can change their facing for free, but not more times per turn
than their Cliche rating.
the movement phase comes combat. To fight, two units must be in range of
each other. For easy reference, range will usually be equal to the unit's
rating in the Cliche it is using for combat. In some cases - a medieval
setting, artillery, etc. units will have different range. Like much else,
this is up to the players. Units must also be capable of attacking one
another - in the previous example, the antiaircraft gun could only attack
the Biker Marines if they had moved using their jetpack. Similarly, a medieval
swordsman (3) would never be able to attack an X-Wing (1). Of
course, if you want to play a totally bizarre game - which is highly encouraged
- then the swordsman would be able to defeat the X-Wing. It's all
up to you.
Combat is exactly as it is in regular Risus. If the attacking unit is out of the defender's range they cannot fight back - a defender's victory on a roll only means no damage was done. In such a case (in order to prevent the attacker from automatically destroying the defender) if the defender wins three rolls in a row, or five altogether, that battle ends.
Once a unit is reduced to 0 dice in the Cliche they were using they are defeated and removed from the game.
Players wishing to avoid having to write anything down during the game can assume that a unit damaged (but not destroyed) in combat heals (all its Cliches return to normal) after the combat ends. Otherwise, lost Cliche dice are recorded and only heal if the unit reaches a medic unit or suchlike.
Teaming Up is allowed if all units on the team can attack the target.
Inappropriate Cliches may or may not be used, depending on the type of game you want to play.
Pumping - as it is in Risus - is optional.
When preparing a setting or campaign for Risus: the Wargame one of the first things you will do is create the units. Units are created in much the same way as characters are in Risus. Be sure to chose Cliches appropriate for the setting, and for wargaming in general, though if you want to play a really bizarre and twisted game feel free to pit hairdressers against space marines (though the 202 Geezer Division was a crucial factor in the Normandy landing during WW2). Hooks may be allowed, but they should fit the setting and have a real effect on gameplay. Tales are clearly inappropriate. Double-Pumping should depend on the campaign and on what the players want (of course, Pumping must be allowed for double-pumping to be possible). Funky dice should only be used in a cross-genre setting, or when units vastly differing in abilities are used - a Longbowman (3) should not be stronger than a Machine Gunner (2), and a Stormtrooper (3) should not be able to take on a Y-Wing (3). Of course, if that's the game you want to play - and you should - feel free.
Optional Rule: Aspect Cliches - Aspect Cliches allow you to improve only one aspect of a unit (move, range, attack) when a unit's capabilities are uneven. Aspect Cliches only cost half the cost of regular Cliches, rounded up. For example, a Howitzer unit might have Howitzer (3), Long Range (6). Long Range would be an aspect Cliche, improving only the range - the attack strength or move remain the same - and would only cost 3 dice.
Before every game, the players should determine
the amount of points they have to spend on units and decide on any limits
(i.e. - no units worth over 20 points). Then they should either choose
units from an existing collection (such as one attached to the scenario)
and/or create their own, within the limits of the setting. Every player
should have at least one Leader unit - a unit with a leadership Cliche
(Marine Commander, Best-Selling Novelist).
Does this rock? Does it suck?
Do you know how to make it better? Send comments, complaints, flames (well
no, not flames please) to