Risus Magic Objects

Some rules for using Magic Objects in Risus.

Temporary Magic Objects

If you're playing a fantasy Risus campaign and you wnat your wizard characters to be able to make magic objects, here are some handy rules you can use.

Basically, it works somewhat like the "pumping" rules. First, you find an object that you want to imbue with a spell (a wand, a staff, a jewel, whatever). Next, you pick one of your magical cliches. Finally, you subtract however many dice you want from your cliche and they go into the magic object.


Randolph the Fire-mage wishes to make a "wand o' fire" that he (or his friends) could then use to shoot fire streams. To do so, he pumps his Firemage(4) cliche by two dice. This gives him a wand-o-fire(2) and leaves him at Firemage[2] for as long as the wand is in operation; At the end of a session of play, when Randolph rolls for cliche advancement, he still rolls 4 (not 2, 4) dice to see if his cliche advances.

Not that the magic-user does NOT "heal" from this pumping as normal. The dice lost from enchanting the magic object are not recovered until until:

This provides balance because the dice are still being subtracted from somewhere, but allows those dice to return to the magic user when the magic object is terminated. It also allows for magic objects to be created on a more ad-hoc, temporary basis. Additionally, it uses an already established "pumping" rule that players should be familiar with.

Permenant Magic Objects - Object Cliches

By "Permenant", I mean objects that your character starts with and could possess indefinitely. How do you do it? Simple! You take a cliche. :-)

Most of the cliches in Risus seem to be for roles, occupations, archetypes, or job / position title. I didn't see anywhere in the rules where it says that cliches have to be occupational, so the door's wide open to make object cliches. Some examples of object cliches might be: Crystal Ball, Vorpal Sword, Scrying Stones, Stealth Boots, Cloak of Invisibility, Bag of Holding, and many others.

The Risus rules state that each cliche you take comes by default with the equipment that suits your profession. The rules further state that if your eqipment is lost, you may have to use the cliche at a reduced roll (such as a thief using improvised, poor quality tools to pick a lock), or you may not be able to use the cliche at all until you find suitable replacement equipment (such as a netrunner losing his cyberdeck). Object cliches should be considered an example of the latter; you can't use the object if you've lost it. In game terms, you might even consider the magic object cliche "wounded" and "healing" takes place when you recover the lost object or find a suitable replacement.

Object Cliches can be used for more that just the object itself. With an object cliche, you should also be able to:

Caveats for Magic Objects

Here are some additional restrictions that could be put onto the creation of magic objects to provide a little more balance make things more interesting:

As you can see, some of these additional caveats could segue into fully-fledged adventures...

Caveats for Magic in General

In order to prevent magic users from being too powerful, here are some restrictions that could be placed on magic users.

Other Risus Magic Stuff

Jason Puckett has written up some exellent material for doing more detailed, more ballanced magic in Risus campaigns .