What are this campaign's . . .
or we really love our dice.
(BTW - it's okay to love your dice, just don't love your dice)

Cliche Categories
    A simple way of categorizing a character's powers into specific cliches (they help you to remember to give your character variety and not to forget the basics).  You don't have to use all of the recommended cliche categories.  Some categories may overlap.

Power Cliche - use this cliche to simulate your character's super-powers.  Remember to be  descriptive in the title.  Detail what this cliche can normally do and what if any "tools of the trade" are necessary.  Some examples are;
  • Spectacular Squirrel Powers
    • spectacular squirrel agility, reflexes and senses.
    • Tools: Spectacular Squirrel suit, slingshot & acorns
  • Super Mascot Powers
  • Magical Coffee Barista Powers
  • MacGyver-like Gadget Pool
  • Mutant Radioactive Powers

Skill Cliche - use this cliche to simulate a “skill set” your character has, again be descriptive for extra flavor.  Some examples are;
  • Jack-of-all-Trades
  • Ex-Cop with a heart of gold
  • Scientific Fact Machine
  • Amateur Nuclear Physicist
  • Fashionista
    • Tools: designer sunglasses

Personality Cliche - use to simulate some part of your character's personality or background.  Some examples are;
  • Gamer-geek
  • Mr. Mom Homemaker & Involved Dad
  • Well-Connected Campaign City Expert
  • Techno-nerd
  • Shopaholic
    • Tools: credit cards, trust fund.

SID (Secret Identity) Cliche - use to simulate your normal everyday Secret Identity's career (very important in a super hero game!).  Even characters with a "public ID" should have one of these.  As part of our "suped-up" game, everyone was given 3d6 for this cliche free.  Some examples are;
  • Freelance Newspaper Investigative Photojournalist
  • Restraunteer/Entrepeneur
  • Streetwise Private Investigator
  • Non-violent Toy Designer
  • Shy Night Janitor
  • Junior High School A-Student
    • Tools: backpack full of books, pens & pencils, etc.

Miscellaneous Cliche - did we miss something?  Use this caegory to simulate other notable Powers or Skills or use to buy Sidekicks & Shield-mates (see below) for your character.  Some examples are;
  • Squirrel Horde
  • Collegiate Boxer
  • Tina, the toy poodle
  • Logical Vulcan Stoicism
  • Jewish Mother on-call 24/7

Hook Dice
    Inspired by the Hero/Champions system's disadvantages or Savage Worlds hindrances these are the "bad" things about your character converted to cliches.  Examples include, codes of honor, phobias, bad habits, etc.  You need a minimum of 6d6 total of Hooks to start.

Hooks are used just like Conflicts and Challenges
    - sometimes you will have to "fight" yourself Cliche vs Hook to overcome a fear.
    - other times you will have to roll your Hook vs a target number.
    - or sometimes the Hook dice will be subtracted from your Cliche dice.

Some examples are;
  • Fear of Spiders (eek!)
  • Minor
  • Unluck
  • Absent-Minded
  • Shy

Sidekicks & Shield-Mates
 see The Risus Companion - page 51

Boxcars & Breakthroughs
 see The Risus Companion - page 54

Lucky Shots
 see The Risus Companion - page 50

    Kickers or Kicker Dice are similar to Lucky Shots.  They are "extra" dice bought to simulate tricks, combat manuevers or gadgets that a character has access to on a regular basis (but not often enough to be their own cliche).  Unlike lucky shots (which are usable only once per game session), they are reusable every scene or combat or as the GM permits.  Cost is 1:1 (unlike Lucky Shots that are 3:1 or Questing Dice [see The Risus Companion] that are 5:1), typically characters must buy Hook Dice in order to buy/afford Kickers.  Some examples are;
  • Sonic Screwdriver
  • A Golden Acorn (that almost never misses)
  • Feng-Shui Kung Fu

Drama Dice
Drama Dice are a collective pool of dice usable anytime by anyone.
  • At the beginning of a game session there are 10d6 in the pool.
  • Any player in the group may pull from the pool to supplement any one of their cliche rolls.
  • Dice cost 1:1 if pulled from the pool BEFORE the cliche is rolled.
  • Dice cost double if pulled from the pool AFTER the cliche dice are rolled.
    The GM may replenish the pool at any time for any reason - especially for really good role-playing, exciting actions or really good puns, etc.

Doubling Up
    If during a Risus combat, one of the combatant's dice rolls adds up to TWICE the number of his opponent, the opponent loses two dice from their cliche instead of just one.  Optionally, you can extend this to THRICE and further doublings.

Sidekick OUT Rule
    Only when "Teaming Up" or just fighting with or near a "sidekick" character, does the "avenging" rule apply (see Risus basic rules page 4 under Teaming Up).  Thus even if your not using the Teaming Up combat maneuver IF your designated "sidekick" (see The Sidekick Lounge for examples of sidekick characters and their status in the MYSTERY MEN campaign) is hurt or taken down ("hang on, old chum!") only then does the team leader or primary hero get the "vengeance bonus".

    IF a villain or hero is "caught" in the middle of a long-winded monolog, any one opponent (not a group) may try to attack him or her unawares, while they prattle on and on about how superior they are.  Or how masterful their grand scheme to rule the world is unstoppable by the pitiful examples of "super" heroes that stands before him.  Or how the small puny insects known as humanity will come to worship them, er, me as the true godlike figure that I am by kneeling and prostrating themselves, while giving offerings of gold, jewelry and tax-deductible savings bonds.  I am the eggman, I am the walrus!  I am the Kingpin of Risus, kneel before Zog!!!

    Ahem, anyway if someone is caught monologing they are at -1d6 value for whatever cliche they use to defend themselves from the surprise attack.
Henchmen Rule of 3
    In the classic 1960's Batman TV show, the weekly villain was always attended to by his "Girl Friday" and 3 henchmen.  Typically the 3 henchmen introduced at the beginning of the show had nicknames appropriate to the main villain (the Penguin's men always had bird-themed names, etc.).  BUT, as soon as the heroes would show up and begin the fight scene 3 to 6 MORE henchmen (always sets of 3) would come out of the scenery and join the fight.

Evil Hideouts
by Guy Hoyle from the Risustalk newsgroup
This is a great example of "all the world's a cliche" in Risus!
A squalid collection of warehouses, secretly the hideout of Dr. Wu Ming Tsu, piled high with trade goods; secretly riddled with catacombs and traps.
  • Squalid Warehouse Piled High with Trade Goods (4): reception desk, secretaries' offices, trading company offices, guards' office, rooms full of crates, etc.
  • Secret Catacombs (4): secret door, twisty little passages all alike, skeleton in hanging cage, one-way door, squealing hungry rats, etc.<> Bumbling Security Guards Grunt Squad (3): eat dinner, try to stay awake, make halfhearted patrol of premises, assert authority, etc.
  • Concealed Traps (3): poisoned needle, trap door with poisoned spikes at bottom of pit, deadfall with tripwire, arrow trap, hallucinatory smoke, etc.
  • Highly Trained Guards (5): Take risks to stop intruders, use flashy weapons and smoke grenades, capture intruders and put them in death traps (etc.)
  • Exciting Action Climax (5): hidden goal of the intruders is revealed, enemy reinforcements show up, risky escape tunnel.
    Tactics: The Warehouse Hideout typically uses the Squalid Warehouse and Bumbling Security Guards cliches exclusively until both are reduced to 1 dice, which means that the Secret Catacombs have been discovered; then it switches to the Secret Catacombs, Highly Trained Guards, and Concealed Traps cliches. If any of these are reduced to 1 dice, the Exciting Action Climax cliche is then employed. The object of the characters' search is suddenly discovered, enemy reinforcements show up (recovering 1-3 of their dice, if the players decide to confront them), and a submerged tunnel or something of that nature is discovered to be the best way out. (This last bit can be played out fully or just a single action conflict, if need be.)

    If any of the players are put out of action by the Squalid Warehouse or the Bumbling Security Guards, they are knocked unconscious and taken prisoner, to be trussed up and dumped in the river through a convenient trap door.  If they are taken out of action by any of the later menaces, they will probably be taken to a specially rigged Deathtrap of Doom, which can be described as a character in itself.

Heroclix Imajewels
Risus combat - now in living color!  Great markers to show battle damage (ie. loss of cliche dice) and their safe & fun for the whole family too!

Visit the Imajewels Homepage

No dice.
Fuzzy Dice Logic
The dice is life.
Running with Dice.
The Dice Cup Runneth Over.
She's as cold as dice.
Of Dice and Men.
Miami DICE
The Dice is Right
Bird with a Pair of Dice
Chicken and Dice
Fried Dice
Wild Dice
Dry Dice
Dice and Taxes
It's all fun and games until
someone loses a die.

Dirty Dicing
Dice Hard

God does not play dice. Albert Einstein
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/dice.html
Dice Mounds are Forever

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Last updated 3/25/2010.