Hacking Dungeons & Dragons, Risus, and other things

2017-03-04 18:20:17 by KungFuSpaceBarbarian

Yo! You may have noticed my posting schedule has been... erm... delayed a bit. I do apologize for that. Crypt Shyfter should be out every week! This is blasphemy- madness! (Well, not Madness. Crypt Shyfter. One's paper cutout, the other is- oh, you know the deal. It's Newgrounds for fucks sake!!)

But I've missed the last two weeks and will probably miss this week as well. So much to do, so little time to do it in! Remember all the way back on 12/27/16 when I posted this?:

That's pretty fucking ambitious, and I'll be floored if I can actually pull off all that bullshit I'm spouting

I was talking about how I'd be making episodes of Crypt Shyfter every week of the year in 2017 lol. How naive I was to think I could pull off such a stunt! (But how freakin' awesome would that have been??) Looks like no man is above the laws of mortality and my best efforts have been quashed by the effects of burnout and shifting interests.

I still intend to have the final 8 episodes completed over the next few months, but I expect now I'll be posting them at a more irregular pace. We have a story that needs finishing, and no story should be left incomplete!

So we will wrap it up, but it'll be at a slower pace than I've been going previously.


What the fuck have I been doing with my time?? Am I just sitting around playing with my dick all day?

Well yeah but I mean, nothing's changed there.

But seriously, what is more important that animating!?

Well, I got bit really hard by the RPG bug. Not the video game kind, the pencil and paper kind. I thought I'd be able to split my focus between animation and RPGs but OH HOW WRONG I WAS.

Both animation and RPGs are storytelling devices, and more than anything I'm addicted to telling stories. So I've been both playing and writing RPG adventures, like this adventure about a witch who turns kids into scarecrows called MOONBRIGHT and this little adventure series called Harper's House of Heroes about a group of fast food delivery-style heroes who come to the rescue in 30-minutes or less, guaranteed! (Inspired by another of my short animations, Holden's House of Heroes).

I've also been hacking Dungeons & Dragons, simplifying the system to strip out all the crazy number crunching so I can focus even more on story. It's a way for me to introduce my non-RPG playing friends and people new to the hobby to D&D without spending 3 hours creating characters and another full day explaining the rules. You can learn to play in about 20 minutes.

I was super excited about making that system because I'd figured out a cool way to blend D&D, Final Fantasy, Fighting Fantasy, Dungeon World, and Skyrim into one game that was both simpler and faster than all of them- and then I came across a little gem called Risus.

Oh Risus, how I have longed for your simple touch!

I seriously thought RPGs couldn't get any simpler than the little monster I'd birthed, but then I found you! You're what I've been searching for all along! I truly believed Dungeon World was the closest RPG to perfection, and now I know that is quite possibly correct- because Risus IS perfection!

 I no longer need to wrack my brain for ways to hack D&D to simplify it because Risus is the game I've been searching for these past 3 years since I started playing RPGs. It is, quite literally, me.

I mean, the word Risus means laughter in Latin! The game is so simple there are no stats- only cliches! You want to be a Dinosaur Riding Knight with a Flaming Sword? Write that down! That is your character sheet!

You get 10 dice to allot to your character when you start the game. Each "cliche" can have a max of 4 dice when you start building your character. The more dice you have in a cliche, the better your chances of being successful.

Take this character, for example: Barbarian [4] Lover [3] Hoola-hoop champion [3]

Yeah, it's freaking ridiculous. But how does that work? Well, I'm a barbarian, so I can do anything a barbarian would do by rolling 4 barbarian dice. What can a barbarian do? That's totally up to the player! Your job is to roleplay the shit out of your cliches to convince everyone that you could use that ability- even if it makes no sense!

Let's say my barbarian gets attacked by an orc. Naturally, using my barbarian cliche would seem like the appropriate choice, right? Barbarians are good at fighting, so I could easily argue that my barbarian smashes in the orc's face.

But what if I want to defend myself using the hoola hoop champion ability? That's where the hilarity comes in! Now I've got to convince the table that I can defeat this goblin using my skills as hoola hoop champion and roll my dice. If I win, I do TRIPLE DAMAGE for trying something so crazy.

The game gives little rewards like that to encourage clever thinking and funny roleplay. Using "inappropriate cliches" for the situation deal extra damage, but if I would have chosen the barbarian cliche instead, I'd still have an opportunity to get a perk- being hilariously descriptive in the way I describe smashing the orc's skull in and ripping out his ribs to build myself a hat would give me 1 extra dice to roll in my attempt- as opposed to saying "I attack the orc" which is fine to say, but doesn't give me a bonus since I don't add anything to the game with that bland statement. 

This is the exact OPPOSITE of most RPGs, where being over the top actually makes it HARDER for you to succeed, so being clever and funny is usually discouraged because you'd make your move with disadvantage. I freaking love that this system strongly encourages you to be wacky because the stories get insane! Now barbarians can powerbomb orcs and knights can dropkick goblins (and have a better chance of succeeding!).

Another awesome thing is that you're just rolling a bunch of d6 dice. Anyone can grab those out of a board game they've got lying around at home. If you're fighting an orc, you both roll your dice and see who gets the highest number- for example my 4 dice barbarian fights a 3 dice orc and rolls a 1, a 3, and two 4's. The orc rolls two 2s and a 6. The orc wins because even though he had less dice, he rolled a 6, but my highest was only 4.

Since I lost that round, I lose 1 dice. So now it's 3 dice vs 3 dice. Each round of combat continues with us describing our attacks in funny ways, hopefully pumping ourselves by getting extra dice, and rolling to see who gets the biggest number.

No math! So easy and awesome.

I know I'm rambling and this is a giant wall of text but I am so freaking excited about Risus because it is in my mind the perfect RPG.

But enough about that! I have more stories to write and animations to produce. I will return shortly with another episode of Crypt Shyfter!


la la laaaaaa!


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2017-03-04 19:12:45

I noticed the irregularity in your posting schedule, and I'm listed as neither a fan, nor a friend. I also noticed I was the first to comment about it on the previous entry you made. I'm hoping you received a few PMs from one of those two groups. cause it ain't right if I'm the one spotting this stuff first (and seemingly being the only one). Fans and friends need to be showing their artists some of that good stuff to keep'em motivated... to keep'em goin' groovin' and bust a movin'.

I'm content to dive into the variety of worlds found within video games, but I respect your love for Risus. I was like that with MTG for years, because I absolutely loved the lore behind the flavored text and pictures on several of the cards.

Anyway, glad it was nothing particularly serious. I was genuinely worried for ya. The barbarian/warrior characters are my favorite, after all. Gotta keep them up and running.

KungFuSpaceBarbarian responds:

:D i love MTG, we should play sometime! i'm sure there's an online version somewhere. every once in a while i play a few hands with my boss at work- it's hilarious, he's an even bigger geek than me when it comes to that game. he usually kicks my ass since he's been playing so much longer but it keeps me on my toes :)


2017-03-04 19:30:28

I know there is, but I've never played it. There was an old MTG game called Shandalar, and I loved it to bits. Can't play it now, because the computers nowadays will destroy it. It's not able to keep up with all the colors and speed. I do have something on Steam from 2014, but playing felt stiff. I like having a stack of cards and being able to wave them around, tease about what I'm going to play, shuffle them in my hands, and other stuff to mess with my friends (we sometimes play during lunch). Red is my favorite color, but I'm a fan of white, as well. I consider blue to be "easy mode" MTGing in casual play, though there are a couple of black strategies that are just as awful.

KungFuSpaceBarbarian responds:

I have 3 decks right now- one is a blue/black ninja deck with a bunch of kill/control cards to keep the opponents field clear so the ninjas can attack and use their ninjutsu ability to bring in a new attacker straight from my hand upon dealing damage. I've also got a really fast green deck with cheap pump cards like Titanic Growth. Most of the creatures only deal 1 or 2 damage but by turn 2-3 I can usually start pumping them to 5-6 damage. It's rubbish for longer games though, only good for a quick kill. My best deck is an Eldrazi deck. I have this artifact card called Quicksilver Amulet that lets you tap 4 mana and cast any creature from your hand, so I can throw down the big 9, 11, and 15 mana cards pretty fast once I get that out. Should grab a playset of those so I get it out more often.


2017-03-05 19:32:50

After a horrible day of work, I came home and found no new Crypt Shitters! Why does Sunday even exist anymore?!

KungFuSpaceBarbarian responds:

bah, you don't even watch it lol :p


2017-03-06 07:03:11

Sure, I do. Godfather, bird child, and the recent one was a boy soldier forced to be a farmer while the Eric Cartman wizard from Stick of Truth is made to prove himself he isn't just Magical Trevor. Make with the new episode!

KungFuSpaceBarbarian responds:

lmao working on it!


2017-03-06 18:04:16

Excellent! You should be receiving 22 + 1 for the next episode. Let me know if this does not occur.

KungFuSpaceBarbarian responds:

dude you're freaking crazy! but thank you. i will have the next episode out in a few days :)