Friday, March 28, 2014

There's Always a Hook Attached

Everyone likes hooks in Risus (I think.) They give you an extra die and are an easy way for the GM to introduce some role play to your character. Hey, want a gorgeous significant other? Set it up as a hook. You have to pay attention to your lover, remember birthdays, anniversaries etc.

What if you take a personal failing as a Hook: Coward, Drunkard, Grabby Guy, Addict, various OCDs etc? One answer is a representing it with a disadvantageous cliche. I'd suggest they all be 3 dice in strength. Note that you get one free die for the hook as always and you do not pay anything for this stinker of a cliche. Then when your pet peeve rears its ugly head you have some options. For one thing you have something to roll to resist temptation. If you take Greedy So and So (3) passing up a $20 bill on the street might be  TN 5, returning a wallet bulging with bills TN 10, finding the owner of a white gold Rolex TN 15 etc, stealing that magic artifact from your party members might be TN 20 or 25 (hey it said I could have it!)

This can also set the stage for ... inner combat errr conflict. Say Commander Quirk is confronted by a beautiful alien woman who pleads for him to remove his space helmet and play tonsil hockey with her. Commander Quirk has Old Space Dog (4) and Hook: Over Sexed (3). He knows the planet's atmosphere is too thin for Earth men. His two cliches fight it out. If the Old Space Dog (4) wins he keeps his head, and helmet. If Hook: Over Sexed (3) wins he may be turning blue. Obviously a Hook could play in social combat. If Commander Quirt is arguing his case at a court martial and the prosecutor is a former love of his, he may be fighting not only her but his own hook. If someone wants to try to talk Quirk out of it they could make a single roll vs his hook or enter combat with him to talk him into behaving for at least the rest of the scene.

Unlike most cliches a hook can't be pumped though Questing Dice and Lucky Shots can be used to improve your chance of making a TN. Note that a hook can come back to haunt you at anytime. If Quirk took Over Sexed Old Space Dog then his eyes might stray to that pretty helm person resulting in higher TNs to command or perform bridge actions while she is present. It would not affect his other cliches. His Xeno-Diplomat would work fine in the presence of lovely ladies (he likes an audience.) A hook however can affect anything you do.

In very rare cases a hook can be used as an appropriate cliche. If Captain Quirk is rescuing a beautiful Space Princess from a Monochromatic Void Dragon he could be justified in using his Over Sexed cliche in the fight (the Space Princess is into him; no dragon is blocking him.) Of course letting your hook cliche take damage is also dangerous. Getting it knocked down to 2 makes it hard to resist temptation and at 1 or 0 well you may have a lot of explaining to do to the the Space King and Space Queen about being all grabby with their Space Daughter (call the Space Executioner!)