(like my favorite*, Swords & Wizardry). I never really finished my thoughts on the topic and since I'm not currently playing old school D&D, I put the idea on the shelf.
Well, Rich over at Gaming on the Precipice appears to have picked my brain from afar with his post on using backgrounds with Swords & Wizardry. Though he doesn't come out and say it, he's basically proposing that characters choose one or two Risus cliches to cover miscellaneous challenges. The mechanic isn't specifically Risus (these background aren't rated in dice) but he use use the words "Pump' and "Double-Pump". Anyway, I wholeheartedly approve of his approach. It may not be exactly what I was working on, but it's close enough for my tastes.
* Why is Swords & Wizardry my favorite? The Peter Mullen art is one reason. I also like the crisp presentation and simplified save mechanic. It's D&D stripped down to its most basic, which makes it so much easier to customize.