Risus: The Anything RPG
- by S. John Ross -

Welcome to the homepage for Risus: The Anything RPG, a complete (very compact) pen-and-paper roleplaying game! For some, Risus is a handy “emergency” RPG for spur-of-the-moment one-shots and rapid character creation. For others, it’s a reliable campaign system supporting years of play. For others still, it’s a strange little pamphlet with stick figures. No matter what it might become to you, you'll need to download it! Visit the freebie page to snag a ZIP file containing Risus in a variety of formats (the main PDF, of course, but also ePub, Rich Text, Plain Text, and folding-pamphlet styles). It's free, it's tiny, and it gives better hugs and backrubs than games 50 times the size.


Groovy Downloads | Fan Club & Companion | Festive Mega-Module
The Risus Community | Other Languages | Risus Swag at CaféPress

[Image of Risus Pages][Image of Risus Guitar-Dude]

Risus News & Community Centers

If you enjoy Risus, you're not alone (and you're about to become even less so). Risus includes one of the best features any roleplaying game can have: an active global community. The following are some of its grooviest expressions; join in!

  • The Official Mailing List: The official Risus Mailing List is a 24/7 source of news from the world of Risus! Subscribers are the first to know about new Risus material from Cumberland Games, as well as new fan-sites spotted on the web, an archive of yet more freebies (including the occasional Mailing List Exclusive), and other warm-and-perky goodness.
  • RisusTalk Mailing List: The best place you'll find for free-for-all discussion, banter, and social rules-tinkering is RisusTalk, a cozy Risus email forum hosted by Guy Hoyle. Sign up and meet some new friends; it's rowdy, chatty, and fun.
  • Risusiverse: The premier Risus fan-repository and ultimate gateway to fan-sites is Risusiverse, founded by Larry Bullock, maintained by Dan Suptic, and contributed-to by slavering hordes of Risus fans the world over. Really well-dressed slavering hordes who smell nice, because Risus keeps it classy.
  • And More: If social networks are your time-sink of choice, there are Risus nexi on Facebook and Google+ (and another on G+ in German!), so purple stick-figures can stalk you wherever you hang out online, looking at JPEGs of pets and food. If you crave yet more Risus connection, give Brent Wolke's webforum a spin or map yourself at NearbyGamers!

[Image: The Risus Headline]

Essentials & Oddities

Honestly, they're all just oddities (none of them are really essential), but I personally keep them stapled to my buttocks at all times. Try it! You'll find it strange.

  • The Paperwork: Risus Character Sheets come in two sizes: "portrait" and "wallet sized," and now include a new "campaign-style" sheet as well. Snag them by clicking here!
  • The Fantasy Gameworld: When a game with barely any system meets a world with no system at all, amazing things can happen. And of course, there's a Risus version, all ready to go!
  • The Solo Adventure: It's a frosty night in an unfamiliar city, and you're a 3-foot tall burglar with hair on your feet. Your lovely partner is missing, and the only clues you'll wake up with are a terrible headache, a slip of paper, and a magic ring. Ring of Thieves is a big ol' fantasy gamebook for Risus! Too cool for school.
  • The Other Solo Adventure: Veteran game designer Peter Schweighofer turned his keyboard to Risus solitaire writing, too, with a spooky little supernatural tale, Trapped in the Museum.
  • Adventures in the Golden Years: I never did complete my Geezer campaign writeup, but this mostly-done micro-worldbook is a relic from my archives that you might enjoy. Oil the wheels on your walker, freshen the battery in your hearing aid, and kick some ass, Tyburn Tree Style.
  • Polyhedral Jiggery-Pokery: The Funky Dice option lets your polyhedra feel loved in Risus.
  • The Bizarre Webcomics: My reaction to Matthew Ritter's Risus comic, "Death to Robots" was "Holy Crap!" and I suspect you'll feel the same way. It's an adaptation, of sorts, of a scene hinted at in the Companion, taken to new levels of madness by its evil creator ... and he's done sequels! All these are archived in the Oddities folder of the Mailing List file archives.
  • The Swag Shop: We all have ... special urges. For some of us, it's the urge to drink coffee from a copy of Risus. If this sounds familiar, get thee immediately to the Risus swag-shop at CaféPress, to see what's available at the moment.
  • The Big List: The Big List of RPG plots has long been a sibling-document to Risus, complete with embarassing childhood memories and the occasional rivalry.
  • Submissions Guide: Think you're ready to contribute to the core Risus library? Read these guidelines to pitching me a proposal, and maybe I'll pitch a contract right back.

[Image: The Crazy Airman]


[Image: Sex!]Join the Club / Buy the Companion!

If you enjoy Risus and Ring of Thieves and the other freebies, join the Risus march toward world domination by purchasing the Risus Companion: a 64-page smorgasbord of Risus madness! - and in so doing, join the International Order of Risus, the official fan club. The sheer coolness of it all is almost medically dangerous.


[Image: Caroler]Embark on an Epic Campaign!

There was a winter, not too long ago, when the fabric of the world came undone, and it fell upon an unlikely band of friends to set things right. According to legend, their travels took them into hidden places in a modern metropolis, into the ancient streets of Bethlehem, into the foggy dark of old London and Wales, and to an evil citadel beyond civilization. But the legends are a little vague, and seem to have a lot of naughtiness in them. Are the legends true? Find out with your own group with a satisfying and shameless epic. This is a holiday mega-module that will touch you ... in those places it's wrong to touch.


Translations: Risus in Other Languages

Risus is (a) kind of adorable (b) enjoyed by many and (c) really very short. This combination has made it an attractive weekend translation project for gamers all over the globe, resulting in a kind of Rosetta's Stone of Roleplaying. Risus is available in a lot of other languages (fifteen that I know of). Note that, as of this writing, most of these translations are of prior versions of Risus, since the latest (version 2) is so brand-spanking super-extra-new. This isn't really a problem, though, since every Risus version has been a fairly incremental spiffing of the last, and they're all highly cross-compatible. As new translations appear of the latest, I'll keep rolling them out here!

  • Risus: Das Alles Geht Rollenspiel is the German Translation (Risus 2) by Alexander-Lars Dallmann. There's also an earlier translation (Risus 1.5) by Achim Leidig.
  • Risus: Le jeu de rôle de tout is the French Translation (Risus 2) by celebrated French RPG writer Tristan Lhomme, along with Laurent Condon (who tracked Lhomme down for the project, since Lhomme had done the earlier French translation of 1.4).
  • Risus: il TuttoGDR is the Italian Translation by Max Lambertini.
  • Risus: El JDR Para Todo is Risus in Spanish translated by Joaquín González.
  • Sistema Risus is the Portuguese Translation by Alexandre Amaral.
  • Risus: Alt mulig rollespillet is Risus in Danish from "Hedgerow Hell" author Lars Erik Larsen.
  • Risus: Igru Uloga O Bilo Cemu is Risus in Croatian, courtesy of translator Tomislav Šimat.
  • Risus: Het "Alles" Rollenspel Bas Snabilie brings us Risus in Dutch!
  • Risus, in Czech! translator Howie (a.k.a. LittleLi) from the Czech Republic didn't add an "Anything RPG" tagline to the title, but he did a nice PDF (Adobe Acrobat) file for Czech RPG fans ready for a little brain-lite gaming. Break out the extended-set fonts (click here for a Rich Text version)!
  • Risus, in Polish! There are two Polish translations, one by Slawomir Wrzesien (RTF only); another is the revision by Kamil Wegrzynowicz (RTF and PDF).
  • Risus, in Japanese! is just kind of awesome, don't you think? Matt Creech did the work.
  • Risus: Altmuligrollespillet is Risus in Norwegian, translated by Gorm Rødder.
  • Risus: La Ciuspeca Rolludo is Risus in Esperanto, translated by Chris Gledhill, which means Risus can now be enjoyed in a larger number of awesome sci-fi settings.
  • Risus, in Chinese! I'm actually not sure who did this Chinese translation; it drifted in as flotsam on the Web. Drop me a line if you know who I should credit!
  • Risus, in Russian! Folks who know me know I have a special soft-spot for Russian history and folklore, so I find it extra-awesome that Andrey Makarov did a Russian translation.


[Image: Triumphant Swordsman]


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