Sunday, August 2, 2015

Gambling at Le Trou Perrecte - Double or Nothing

Still traveling. So this is another short post. On the plus side we had a great in person game on Saturday. It included a very entertaining gambling episode that sparked an idea for a simple gambling mini-game.
Two King's Musketeers were returning to the scene of some previous mischief. On their way they were accosted by a group of what turned out to be debt collectors. One of the characters, the King's Musketeer Louis Rouvroy, owed a somewhat large gambling debt. Rouvroy was wounded and knocked unconscious by the leader of the group while his fellow Musketeer, Lucien de Bourges, dealt with the minions but was then stalemated by the remaining two toughest collectors. Lucien gave the leader 25 livres (nearly all the money he had) and he was told this would buy Rouvroy a week. But that the debt was now 150 livres, 100L for the original sum, plus an extra 50L "for damages."
Fortunately, Rouvroy had a brilliant idea for how he was going to get the money to pay off both his debt and repay Lucien. Rouvroy decided he would go gamble and this time he would win. (Did I mention that Rouvroy is a Gambler and a Spendthrift?) He collected initial capital from some of the other Musketeers who were in funds. This showed the wisdom of Rouvroy's philosophy that "money is like seed corn. You sow when you are in funds by standing your friends to drinks and dinners and by loaning them money when they are short, so that you can reap the harvest of your generosity when you are short of funds yourself." He gathered 25L and went off to gamble. Reluctantly, Lucien accompanied him. The gambling hell that they went to was over in the student's quarter on the Left Bank, a seedy place called Le Trou Perrecte
The session will get a write up in due course, but the relevant part to this post was that I had to come up with a quick game of chance that fit the H+I rules and that gave Rouvroy a chance to win or lose money fairly quickly, but entertainingly. I played this as head to head gambling, in part for simplicity. Two player games were common in France at this time with Piquet and Bésigue being tow examples. Rouvroy was playing against a dissolute noble. Fortunately for Rouvroy the noble was a less skilled, but an even more compulsive gambler than the Musketeer.

Rules for Double or Nothing

Typically I let the Player set the bet. Occasionally I’d have the NPC suggest or push for a bet. Usually a higher bet as he was compulsive about his gambling. As is usual in Honor+Intrigue, the roll is 2d6 plus one or two modifiers.
  • Roll 2d6 as usual, using Gambler as the Career and Flair or possibly Savvy as the Quality. Subtract the opponent’s level in Gambler.
Rouvroy has Gambler at 0. Since he had the Gambler career and his opponent did not, I gave Rouvroy a +1 bonus based on his Flair 1.
  • 9+ wins the bet
  • 6-8 the bet stands but raise the bet by some amount (say an ante of 5L or 10L depending on the bet or agreed stakes) 
  • 2-5 loses the bet
  • The Loser can declare Double or Nothing. The Winner can decide to accept or reject, though the Loser may use social pressure to persuade the Winner. Characters with Flaws or Motivations related to gambling may have further pressures applied or rewards for following their motivation or flaw. If the Double or Nothing is accepted, then the bets stay on the table and play continues rolling again as above for wins, raises, or losses.
  • If winner does not declare Double or Nothing, the Winner can try to entice him into further betting again using social pressure and including any flaws or motivations.
  • The winner is only paid their winnings once all Double or Nothings have been dealt with or rejected and a final winner has been declared. This allows gamblers to go over their actual cash on hand by going Double or Nothing.

The Outcome

Rouvroy started out with small 5L bets with the stakes gradually increasing due to one or two raises. Then both gamblers started using double or nothing. Once Rouvroy used it to avoid losing nearly all his money. Another time he used it to win a large stake. Finally, he played a double or nothing with a 100L bet. He spent a Fortune Point to help win which would have given him enough money to pay his gambling debt and to repay his creditors. But his opponent used a cocked pistol under the table to "persuade" Rouvroy to allow a final round of double or nothing. Rouvroy was out of Fortune Points so he went with the luck of the dice...and won nearly 400 livres. Getting out of the gambling den and away from his opponent's two henchman required some fast footwork, but in the end the Musketeers prevailed.

No comments:

Post a Comment