Saturday, July 20, 2024

Sergeant Jim Malone [Risus]


Sergeant Jim Malone is a staunch law-abiding citizen, he is a firm believer in the law and takes a hard line with those who break the rules. Malone has been a beat cop for over a decade, but just recently moved to the beat that includes the St. Bartholomew church. Since moving, he has begun to question things he has always thought were set in stone, having seen things his rational mind can simply not explain.

Thursday, July 18, 2024

Father Buchanan [Risus]

Father Buchanan is a recent arrival to St Bartholomew's, the largest Catholic church in the city. He is intelligent, inquisitive, and curious about his new city and congregation. He is a tireless student of history and has taken an interest in Dirk's work in the occult after the two became fast friends after the Catalogus de Mysteriis Serpentis incident.

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Timmy 'Two-Step" Tulaine [Risus]


Sometimes Dirk needs a little help, and that is where little Timmy comes in. He is a tenacious little fella, able to sneak into areas that would otherwise be impossible for Dirk to gather intel or evidence to bring a criminal to justice. While Jenny constantly worries about putting Timmy in danger, the fact is Timmy refuses to not be included and often sneaks into missions without Dirk's knowledge, and frankly the little guy is exceptionally skilled at what he does. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Jenny Valentine [Risus]


Jenny has worked close with her father, one of the founding members of the Black Chamber, the pre-eminent crypto-occult studies agency of the US government tasked with defending the country (and the world) from the mysterious other-world invaders. Due to her experience with her father, Jenny has experience in dealing with the occult, paranormal, and other-worldly entities. She uses her civilian cover as a press reporter to get into areas typically difficult to gain entrance to, plus let's face it, she is simply gorgeous and men melt in her hands.

I give you Jenny's Risus character card, those of you with Risus experience may notice the dice convention here instead of the usual straight number. This is because I have adopted Norbert's fantastic Risus hack (laid out here[link]). As I have decided this is simply brilliant and immediately 'ups' the use and power of Risus, I have decided to move to using this exclusively here on the blog.

Monday, July 15, 2024

Doctor Demento [Risus]

Dirk Douglas, heroic savoir of the city has had run-ins with various criminal elements, but his most formidable foe to date was the terrifying lord of the underworld: Doctor Demento!

Sunday, July 14, 2024

Dirk Douglas [Risus]

Dirk Douglas, a hard-boiled occult detective. Once a gentleman criminal, he changed his path in life after he witnessed a black magic occult ceremony (he was told it was a burlesque performance) that involved the sacrifice of the innocent. Since that fateful night, he has been on a course to right the wrongs and bring justice to those who would use dark arts and burgeoning scientific discoveries to bring the people under their evil heels!

Friday, July 12, 2024

Risus for.....Writing?

My bud Norbert posted this fantastic table on his blog:

Now, this is a standard inspiration table, nothing too amazing (though quite nice and did exactly what it was supposed to do...INSPIRE), but this along with Norbert's recent posts about Risus, popped an idea in my head. 

// -------- Wait, let me backtrack a little.

I love to read, I have spent my life reading and always wanted to be a writer. Life happened and now that I am old I sort of regret never following through on that dream. I specifically wanted to write pulp men's adventure tales. I just love the fairly straight forward and short stories and find them wonderful to read. Men were men, damsels need rescuing, evil scientists want to take over the world!
His posts inspired a nutty idea. He made it for gaming...but what if we took that and used it for writing? So I quickly wrote up a random table to pulp novel themes such as Gaslight Detective, 1930's crime, sword and sorcery, etc. I ended up rolling Victorian Gaslight (think the Alienist novel or Sherlock Holmes) and created a character in Risus, I give you Doctor Horace Norbert Walker:

Dr. Horace Norbert Walker
Meddlesome Surgeon of great reputation [4]
Amateur Detective [3]
Genteel Scholar of History [2]
Reluctant heir to a Noble Fortune [1]

Then I rolled on Norbert's table and got the result: Hidden, Messages, Maps which seems oddly perfect. I pulled up my favorite online writing site and started writing. I quickly wrote up about 2k words, but something else happened. I got to really thinking about writing and how easy it would be to describe everything in terms of Risus cliches as a means of providing quick and easily-remembered details of places, people, and situations. 

Where does the story take place? 

1880s Chicago
Gloomy, cold, and wet [4]
Crime Ridden streets [3]

Need an antagonistic foil for the doctor?

Lt. Samuel Cogburn 
Smarmy police detective [5]
Sticky handed venal hack [4]
High-level political connection [3]

What about the doc's sidekcick?
Witherford 'Withers" Malone
Cheerful scientific genius [4]
Always ready with the right tool at the right time [3]

I can quickly and easily create memorable place and people. It almost feels like a shorthand system to describe everything. Anyway, this discovery sounded quite interesting when I stumbled upon Risus for Writing last night while sitting at work. Let's see what will come of it!

Saturday, July 6, 2024

Bugbear - Risus

A recent post by my pals over at Pits Perilous (link) got me thinking about a Risus version of the OD&D monster, the bugbear. I am a visual person so naturally I wanted to have a bugbear image in this latest style I am playing around with, so I headed over to MidJourney to play around. What follows is my journey (no pun intended) to get a solid image to use. At the end I will have a Risus bugbear!

Nice, a little weird (though given Gary's description of merely a "great hairy goblin-giants" it somewhat does the trick)

I love the face here, somewhat pumpkinish and very monstrous, but the rest is too civilized for my tastes.
Too weird...and wth is with that grip on the sword??
Oh now here we go. Giant and hairy monstrous thing, with a "large, round flat oval" head
Let's give it one more go, see if we can get something a little nicer.
There we go, I like that one. Gives me a "Where the wild things are" vibe. A wild and feral beast, with the smidgeon of intelligence like a Neanderthal. Plus, as a bonus, he is carrying a pumpkin.
Perhaps bugbears have an uncontrollable love of pumpkins? I would imagine they can speak in a deep, guttural voice, able to formulate very simple sentences such as "Me hungry. Eat you." kind of thing.

Here we go, a Risus monster card.

Friday, July 5, 2024

Cwene of Bamburgh - Risus

Cwene is a young woman on the run. Originally from York, she slayed a man when he trapped her in an alleyway one late night. Barely escaping with her life, she stowed away on a boat heading north, ending up in Bamburgh. One cold winter night, Finan rescued Cwene and provided food and shelter. As days turned to weeks, she learned of God's grace and discovered a new purpose in life. Now, she travels with Finan as he spreads the word and does the churches work around Northumbria. She is a capable young women, with some skill as an herbalist but she has also proved to be skilled in the use of a spear and fending off bandits on the road.

Thursday, July 4, 2024

Happy 4th of July

I salute all those who have served and especially those who have given their lives so that this great country shall not perish from the Earth. This land of the free, home of the brave, may she ever endure for all time.

Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Aidan of Mellitus - Risus

Finan's companion on the roads, a man I can connect with fairly well: a grumbly old veteran.  ;-) 

Aidan has retired but his ex-wfe (now run off with another, younger man) has racked up considerable debt in his name. Now he looks to earn coin by serving as Finan's armed escort and guardsman as he wanders about preaching and spreading the good word. Additionally, constantly being on the move means Turag has a harder time locating him and forcing him to pay his debts. While he is a believer in the "nailed god", he is not truly a man of faith and only regularly speaks to Saint Cuthbert in the traditions of his people.

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Finan of Lindasfarne - Risus


Playing around with Risus and listening to a most excellent history podcast on the history of Saxon England resulted in this.

Risus Character Cards

Well, now I am really in a Risus sort of mood. I went looking for a character sheet (silly, I know, but hey) and could not find one I liked so I made one. I just uploaded to where all my other stuff is. Made a couple of variations so people could use the one they like. Should fit nicely on a US letter sized page, then cut into fours to provide a handful of sheets for each page printed. Hope you like them!

You can find them here: