Our Risus Rules 


Back to Worlds at War 




Worlds at War is being created as a game where each player plays the captain of his own stealth boat, because my players and I felt that would be fun. You could alter these rules easily to serve you in a game where all the players were crew members in the same ship.

Captain & Crew

The captain (or, to be more precise, the watch officer), the ship, and ONE crew member act as a team for whatever purpose is at hand. The ship and NPC’s only add their sixes to the captain’s totals. Once combat begins, crew members may not switch battle stations.

Usually only the ship can take damage in combat, however, at his discretion the Captain may have someone on the team take damage instead of the ship, but that NPC or character is off the team and out of combat no matter how many cliché dice they have left. (Simulating people getting wounded or stunned inside the ship during combat.) In this kind of team, there would be no “volunteer” damage and no double rolls for the leader (as described in the Teaming Up rules, Risus pg. 4) , as everyone involved is an NPC under control of the captain anyway. So, once the munitions officer is wounded, the captain is shooting the torpedoes alone!

Hooks and Tales

At creation a character may receive an additional D6 for a problem or flaw (a Hook). 

At creation a character may receive an additional D6 for background stories (a Tale or Tales).

Inappropriate Clichés

Inappropriate Clichés can still be used, but in light of our serious tone, we will give successful use of them a 2 dice, not a 3 dice penalty on the loser. Also: players are not expected to be “really, really entertaining” when describing their creative use of their cliché, just be creative!

Pumping Clichés

Any cliché may be pumped in an emergency. For every dice remaining in a cliché, you can add an extra dice to roll; however, after the roll, you lose an extra die for every die you added.

Deadly Combat

Risus assumes that combat isn’t ordinarily deadly. Most Risus combats don’t even involve physical forces! But when a fight needs to be settled by serious or deadly wounds the following rules changes apply:

a)      Best Of Set – Determine the winner of a combat round by comparing the single highest die rolled, instead of the total. (But lets add this house rule: Multiples Count. so 4/4/1 would beat 4/3/3/3.)

b)      The Goliath Rule – If the combatants each score the same high die, then the one who rolled the fewest dice for that round of combat wins. Only if they roll an equal amount of dice is it considered a tie.

c)      Smells Like Team Spirit – When the PC’s, or the PC’s and their NPC allies, attack as a team, everyone’s dice contribute to figuring out the highest die rolled, (not just their sixes, as in a normal team) but only the leader’s dice count for the Goliath Rule.

No other alterations are needed beyond these three. The winner still determines that fate of the loser, so combat needn’t be deadly. Boxcars And Breakthroughs doesn’t apply to Deadly Combat.

Swing Combat

Every combat is Not Deadly (i.e. normal Risus combat) or Deadlynecessarily killed. from the beginning. The aggressor decides which. In deadly combat the losers must be injured in some way appropriate to the weapons used – although not

Above Average

Just as in the normal Risus rules, a (4) in a cliché will be considered professional level. However, only the PCs and a few exceptional NPCs can ever have more in a cliché than (4).

Heavy Damage

(altered from Risus Tenhut) 

For things like ship’s torpedoes and small tactical nukes and hurtling meteoroids we can graduate damage results by using the attack/defend roll ratio:

attack (winner) > defend (loser): damage 1

attack >= 2x defense +1d6 damage

attack >= 3x defense +2d6 damage


The following Advanced Options from the Risus Companion are also available.

Lucky Shots and Questing Dice

Eye of the Tiger

Boxcars and Breakthroughs