Creating the World with Meta-Game Rules
I'd love to have the ability do something similar in Risus but I wouldn't want to invent a new character trait to do so. I have two ideas:
Lucky Shots/Questing Dice: The Risus Companion already details the use of Lucky Shots and Questing Dice to trigger a montage sequences via the "Eye of the Tiger" rule. What is a montage sequence other than a brief scene where a player usurps narrative control? Dictating facts about the game world is not quite so useful, so I'd say the cost would be reduced to 1 LS/QD for moderate fact declarations (e.g. "I knew the ambassador back in my university days"). It would cost 2 LS/QD for major fact declarations that bring significant benefit (e.g. "the ambassador and I pledged of the same secret fraternal order and he owes me big for saving his life when a hazing ritual got out of hand").
Target Number Rolls: Rather than forcing players to purchase LS/QD for their characters to dictate facts about the world, a GM could also use simple Target Number rolls to simulate the effect. I'd use the guidelines described in the Companion in the "Target Numbers And the Single Showoff" section to determine what sort of Target Numbers would be appropriate based on the dramatic impact of the facts being declared. I've created the example table below as an example of my thinking (don't forget to adjust the Target Numbers to reflect how closely the new fact relates to the cliche being used).
This is just a half-baked notion at this point and I'd certainly revisit the Target Numbers listed above before employing them in a campaign. But something like this seems like it should be permitted. I'd welcome any feed-back from folks who use it their games.Minor Fact (TN5): New information adds color to the scene and provides the character with no more than a small benefit (e.g. "The desert nomads of Gargalahar are known to export a particularly potent spirit produced from over-ripe pucker-fruit pouches"). This includes the creation of minor characters that have little game impact
Moderate Fact (TN10): A moderate fact provides a definite mechanical benefit such as helping to deal with one small obstacle (e.g. "I've got this drinking contest in the bag because I've developed an tolerance to pucker-fruit spirits"). Minor characters created may offer some assistance in a scene.
Major Fact (TN15): Information of this nature actually allows a character (or party) to largely bypass a scene and potentially steel some thunder from the other characters (e.g. "I'll diffuse the situation with the suspicious desert nomads because I used to drink pucker-fruit spirits with Chief Dakon the Inebriated"). Significant recurring characters can be introduced that may assist the character or party on an occasional basis.