Here, my goal is to make it easier to set TNs, remove those vital seconds spent adding die pools and make combat even more fast and decisive. I'm using a combination of the original rules, additional rules from the Risus Companion and a few of my own adjustments.
High Die Rule
High Die Rule
- When you roll a pool of dice, take the highest single die, rather than adding the total.
- Target Numbers start at 4, raised to 5 for Challenging Tasks, and 6 for Heroic Efforts. A task's difficulty may be raised if your Cliche is an ill fit for the task.
- When using a Cliche, you can Pump a second Cliche for extra dice. The extra dice are added to the Cliche you're using for the duration of the roll, but lost from the pumped Cliche. Reducing a Cliche to 0 in this way does not take you out of the contest.
- This replaces normal Pumping.
- Teams roll their total dice and take the highest. Everyone on the losing team loses a die from their Cliche.
- On a tie, both parties are treated as losing.
- Characters splitting off from a team do not suffer damage.
- Inappropriate Cliches do not cause extra damage.
- If a character does not have an appropriate Cliche for a task, or combat, they roll a single die, but only 6s are counted.
- Cliches are the many hats a character can wear. Only one is ever active at a given moment, and each should represent a role, not just a specific action. More Drunken Brawler and Mercenary Sniper, less Sucker Punch and Pinpoint Accuracy.
- Sidekicks, Vehicles and Personal Armies can all be purchased out of your starting pool of ten Cliche dice. See the examples below.
Akla-Ma: Man-Beast (4), Noble Savage (2)
Sidekick: Kaah, Killer Panther (4)
Rusty Sinclair: Crime-Lord on the Rise (4), Former Vagrant (1)
Gang: Jimmy the Brain (3), Top-Hat Thugs (2)
Crash Atom: Ace Stunt-Pilot (3)
Mech: The Red Knight: Sword of Justice (4), Symbol of Hope (3)
High Die Examples
Akla-Ma is faced with a nearly impossible leap between two skyscrapers. As this is a Heroic Task, he'll need a high die of 6 to succeed. He's using his Man-Beast (4) cliche, but will pump his sidekick Kaah (4) for three extra dice, giving him seven to roll. He rolls 1, 3, 2, 6, 6, 2, 4. The highest die is a 6, a success! He rides Kaah to safety, but the Panther is completely exhausted, now a Killer Panther (1).
Rusty Sinclair is trying to dig up some dirt on his rival, Screwdriver Joe. He sends Jimmy the Brain (3) and the Top Hat Thugs (2) out, as a team, to see what they can find. This is a basic task, so a high die of 4 is required. The team rolls five dice in total, scoring 3, 1, 5, 5, 2. With a high die of 5, they manage to uncover the secret of Screwdriver Joe's illegitimate son.
Crash Atom has lost another round of combat against the monster, Octo, reducing his Sword of Justice Cliche to 1. He switches to Ace Stunt Pilot to try and pull of a risky manoeuvre, blasting debris into Octo's giant eye to distract it from a killing blow. He rolls three dice, scoring 5, 5, 2, a high die of 5. Octo rolls his dice and scores a high die of 6. He wraps his tentacles around The Red Knight and begins to crush the valiant mech.