Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A Good Cliche Is Never Inappropriate

Some people may accuse me of over thinking things. This is especially the case with games and what the dog is trying to tell me (hey, Yorkies are deep thinkers.) While I was thinking about Risus Supers I came up with a quick way to tell what sort of activities your super hero would suck at. I sort of regulate what is appropriate and inappropriate.

Below is a quick diagram breaking superpowers into five types (the Big Bang Theory fans have already realized I lifted this from Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard. Spock.) I suppose they could be used for almost any Risus game with a little tweaking so go ahead. Basically there are five areas of a conflict can fall into. Every cliche is inappropriate to two types of conflict and has two cliches that are inappropriate to its kind of conflict. 

 In game terms a Single Action Conflict would have its difficulty increased by five, 10 or more. An combat could have the cliche deemed inappropriate, halved or be handled using the brevet dice method. Hypertrophied Man  Infinitely Muscled (5) (Power Cliche) is confronted By Necromantic Evile Wyzard (4) (Magic Cliche) who uses his magic to trap the hero in a magical cage of forces. H-Man discovers his punches just rebound (he gets two brevet dice and Necromanti's Evile Wyzard gets boosted to six, but by spinning himself and the cage rapidly using his Speed of Lightning (4) (Movement) he makes the construct fly apart. Just be consistent and use the method that works best for you.

Some examples of cliches in the five areas;
Power: Muscles, Strength, Energy Blasts, Rocket Launchers, Lightning Bolts, Throwing a Big Rock, Body of Metal, Lots of Minions. Epic destruction.

Spock: Telepathy, Mind Blasts, Illusions, Mental Control, Magical Spells. Transformations, or Transmutations, Super Senses. Transforming something else.

Scissors: Armor Suits, Utility Belts, Trick Throwing Blades, Robotic-Fu.

Lizard: Super Speed, Flight, Martial Arts, Brachiation, Swimming, Danger Sense. Skill with something or natural dexterity.

Paper: Invisibility, Non-Corporeal, Teleporting, Gaseous or Liquid Form. Transforming yourself.

Seen another way the diagram could be used to create characters. Assign dice as usual to four areas (or five if you want a 15 die character (and want to be a total twink.) Everyone will suck at one thing.