So, as it's the Christmas season, I'm spending time with family - specifically three cousins and my younger brother. I want to get them into an RPG, and RISUS fits the bill perfectly, as the oldest of my cousins (17, still younger than me) has played some Midgard before, and my brother (14) plays in my D&D 2e campaign, but my other two cousins are 10 and 13 and have no past experience with any RPGs, as far as I know.

However, to get the game going fast, I want to simplify the RISUS character generation. Normally, each player can distribute 10 points amongst up to 10 different cliches they determine, with a maximum of four points in each and a minimum of 1. Instead, I want to simply ask for them to each list four cliches for their character, in order of how important they are, and these cliches will then get 4, 3, 2 and 1 point respectively.

Would this have a large effect on game balance, or not? It seems to me like it shouldn't, but with something as simple as RISUS, there's usually a good reason for everything, and I have a feeling this is especially true for character generation.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This is actually mentioned explictly on page 4 of the Risus Companion! \$\endgroup\$
    – Discord
    Mar 6, 2014 at 15:18

1 Answer 1


RISUS is not a system of balances, it's a system of convenience. There's no particular reason that it gives you the ability to assign the 10 points as you like except that there's no reason not to let you assign them as you think suits the character. It's all about creating the character you see in your head.

So yeah, switching it for ranked cliches wouldn't violate any essential part of the system. It just gives you a bit less flexibility, in exchange for a conceptually faster/quicker creation system. Sounds like a good trade for this purpose!


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