Ring of Thieves and Risus: The Anything RPG

Tabletop Tuesdays: Minimalist Gamebook for a Minimalist RPG

Ring of Thieves -- A Risus Solitaire by S. John Ross -- A Lucas Marks Adventure
Tabletop (Free)
System Requirements:
Basic literacy and six-sided dice
S. John Ross
Suggested By:
sebastian sohn

S. John Ross wrote the Ring of Thieves gamebook to show the power, flexibility, and simplicity of the Risus: The Anything RPG system. Ring of Thieves is 27 pages and can be played in less than half an hour.

Ring of Thieves is well written; I felt more connected to the characters than I have reading other gamebooks. The author drew me in and readily imparted the urgency and importance of the quest. I felt that Lucas, the main character, had to rescue his love -- no matter what the odds were.

Ross designed the Risus RPG as a modern "light" tabletop RPG system: simple, yet robust enough to be used in any setting; easy to learn and play, yet flexible enough to deal with almost any game situation. What is most amazing is that Risus rules are about only six pages. The combat system is also innovative because when you take damage, your attacking power decreases proportionally.

The browser playable version of the Ring of Thieves was developed by Brandon Barnes.


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Here is where I question the

Here is where I question the actual value of any lite game, or even traditional RPG games (even those with 'crunch')

What percentage of this product is Mr Ross, and what percentage of it is the risus system actually having an effect? I'm by and large thinking 95%+ Ross? It's kind of like showing the power of a car by driving it 5% of the distance, then the guy gets out and runs really hard the rest of the way.

I'd be more inclined to think it demonstrates the power of Mr Ross, but I doubt he'd accept the accolade.
Philosopher Gamer Blog
My latest short game - Bullet Prose: Have No Part

Not Sure What You Mean


Are you taking about "...having an effect..." on:
1) game design
2) RPG sales
3) how good the RPG system is
4) how good the story is
5) something else

This is hilarious--"...guy gets out and runs really hard the rest of the way."

What you experienced between

What you experienced between when you started playing and when you ended playing.

How much did you experience something that the risus system did, vs how much did you experience something that is Mr Ross' doing?

I'm thinking you 95%+ experienced Mr Ross' doings. That's like showing how good a car is by being driven in it 5% of the way, then Mr Ross gives you a piggy back the remaining 95% of the distance.
Philosopher Gamer Blog
My latest short game - Bullet Prose: Have No Part

My personnal opinion on the

My personnal opinion on the matter is that the goodness in the risus system is that if FORCES roleplay, as the players should find a way to apply their "clichés" to the current situation.

In classical rpg, bad or good roleplay is translated into a bonus/malus. Thus it is not as much intrically linked to the game system as in Risus.

By the way, hello all :-)

I'm not sure the solo

I'm not sure the solo version would involve that process you mention (as I understand it)? Does it?


I get the feel that the precedent comment was about the whole system, not only about the solo context.
If that was not the case, you're totally right.