Tuesday, June 8, 2021

RPG News - Catching Up with Risus: Sold! and Other Interesting Tidbits

I must admit, I haven't been paying much attention to the news in the World of Gaming for the past week or so, as NTRPG Con was occupying my waking (and sleeping) thoughts. But now I'm home, and its time to catch up on some topics covered here and on our accompanying Youtube Channel: youtube.com/TenkarsTavern

Risus has been sold. Yep, I had mentioned that it was for sale, along with its Kickstarter obligations, and someone has taken on the responsibilities to fulfill those obligations and apparently paid for the privilege:

Big Dice Games Acquires Risus: The Anything RPG, Charts Course for the Future of Joyful RPGs!

A joint press release from Cumberland Games & Diversions and the new home of Risus: Big Dice Games.

Dave LeCompte, of Big Dice Games, has purchased the Risus RPG line from S. John Ross of Cumberland Games and Diversions.

S. John Ross designed, authored, and published the groundbreaking roleplaying game system, subtitled “The Anything RPG,” in a time where individual role playing manuals were hundreds of pages, and a well-prepared gaming group would have dozens of books. Risus is a different sort of game system, with a set of rules that can fit on a single sheet of paper.

Dave LeCompte has been a friend of Risus for years, and looks forward to carrying it forward as a game where there’s “No Wrong Way to Play!”

Big Dice Games has agreed to complete the outstanding Kickstarter campaign to publish more free adventures, and intends to publish all-new Risus worldbooks as well.

S. John, who has shepherded his creation for 28 years, has overseen its changes from a plain-jane document of the early 90s to a stick-figure festooned one in the 21st century, is proud to see Big Dice Games carrying the torch forward to see the Risus line expand to include entire worlds, more adventures, and more voices from around the world. The Risus community has always been international (the game has been translated into 18 languages besides S. John’s attempts at English), and S. John hopes to see something from everyone. He’s also happy he won’t have to edit them.

Dave LeCompte notes: “S. John is one of those creators who do so many things well, it will require many people to fill his shoes. Big Dice Games welcomes the best stick figure art submissions, as well as writing submissions from adventure- and worldbook-authors to provide a breadth of perspectives while staying true to the open-hearted, creative gameplay that Risus gamers expect.” Contact dave@risusrpg.com for freelancing opportunities.

The Risus library will continue to be available at DriveThruRPG, with all previous customers transferred painlessly behind the scenes thanks to the efforts of the OBS management. Risus will soon have a new home on the Web as well, at www.RisusRPG.com.

So, I did a video on an upcoming RPG called Into the Mother Lands. It's an interesting Kickstarter and I am excited about the setting info thus far, but I was (and still am) concerned that the system that will be used has yet to be determined (it was playtested with Cortex). I should note that it has already raised a quarter of a million dollars (11 days to go) for a creator that has a single prior Kickstarter (for about $6k).

Egg Embry interviewed some of the folks behind the Into the Motherland Kickstarter over at ENWorld, and he asked a question about the lack of a determined system at the launch of the Kickstarter. The answer is NOT what I expected. 

EGG: One of the campaign’s FAQs discusses the game’s system, or, more precisely, how that’s yet to be determined. As a business person, why keep that option open?

BDW: Business is exactly why we did it. We’ve been blessed to have a number of options in terms of publishers we can partner with, or go it completely on our own and create a whole new system. There are a lot of other intangibles to weigh like production costs, who has retail distribution, etc. Until you’ve done it, you don’t realize how much more there is to it than deciding if we want to roll d10s or d6s. Ultimately, we’ll do whatever allows us to deliver the best possible game to the widest possible audience.

Intangibles such as "production cost" and "retail distribution" mean that they (those behind the Kickstarter) want another company to take the responsibility of development and distribution. As a potential backer, this lack of decisiveness is enough to keep me from coming anywhere close to this Kickstarter.

What else? 

The Tavern will be refocusing some of its affiliate support and redirecting such to a member of our community in need. Further details when it's finalized.

The Tavern is supported by readers like you. The easiest way to support The Tavern is to shop via our affiliate links. DTRPGAmazon, and Humble Bundle are affiliate programs that support The Tavern.  You can catch the daily Tavern Chat podcast on AnchorYouTube or wherever you listen to your podcast collection. - Tenkar


  1. I agree with you about the uncertainty about the system of Into the Motherlands. I think I would feel better if they had just a couple of options spelled out based on funding. Like one system with a free or cheap license for lower levels of funding and maybe a Cortex edition for a high level of funding (since it looks like Cortex does not have any kind of open license). I do not trust this bunch of neophytes to design their own system from scratch, especially since they don't seem to have begun work on it yet.

  2. The 'Free OSR Rulesets - Other' button doesn't link to anywhere.


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