Thursday, December 8, 2016

Gambling Subsystem for H+I

Gambling from the movie, The King's Thief

Although our game is still going on weekly, I've been lacking in inspiration for my blog postings. However serendipity often provides inspiration. In last Saturday's session, the characters used gambling success as a way to arrange for one character to gain the attention of the Duc de Fronsac, all this was preparatory to (a) presenting a letter of introduction to the duke and (b) ultimately getting an appointment to a position of importance on the duke's staff or in the army he controls. The goal being to get the duke's attention, that could be done either by winning big or by maintaining one's sang froid while losing big. Any money that would be lost was from one of three sources: provided by the character with the Great Wealth boon, money that had been stolen/confiscated from a would be kidnapper of ladies, or money that had been won earlier in the evening. Essentially it probably wouldn't matter (much) if money was lost nor was winning money necessary. So I didn't track the money except in vague terms. 

With that as context, this recent post by Dyson on what he calls his  Overly Complicated Gambling Subsystem (though overly complicated is a bit of a misnomer) was just the thing I could have used last Saturday, if only I'd had it. Hindsight being 20-20 and all that, I probably should have cooked up something or even have used something I'd used previously like this double or nothing gambling mini-game. Or maybe not. My players don't like tracking livres and sous and they all seemed to enjoy themselves and they succeeded in attracting the duke's attention. But I decided to prepared for next time by adapting the Cyberpunk gambling subsystem that Dyson used for Honor + Intrigue.

First, a character decides how much money they are willing to risk as their stake for an hour of play. (Standard stakes by SR are listed in the table below.)
Social Class
High Roller
Royals & Grands   
SR 15+
500 L
10,000 L
Greater Nobles        
SR 12+
100 L
1,000 L
Minor Nobles            
SR 9+
20 L
200 L
SR 6+
5 L
25 L
1 L
5 L

Next they decide the percent profit or take that they are aiming to make with their stake. The maximum selection is a 200% profit, though higher results may occur for exceptional die rolls.

Break Even
25% Profit
50% Profit
100% Profit
200% Profit
300% Profit
400% Profit
* If the roll succeeds by 5 or more, treat it as if the character had played for the next larger take.
   Treat a Mighty Success as if the character had played for a take that was two rows higher.

As is usual in H+I roll 2d6 and add the character’s Savvy and ranks in the Gambler career. If the character does not have the Gambler career then increase the difficulty by +1.
One time per session, a Character may use their Flair instead of their Savvy for their gambling roll.
Difficulties are for large, organized, and/or regulated gambling dens. Smaller, unregulated establishments may be 1-2 points more easy or difficult either because they fix their games or because they are making mistakes that make them easier to take. New gambling dens usually have an easier difficulty while they attempt to attract traffic and customers.
Failed Roll
1-2 points
Lose 25% of stake
3-4 points
Lose 50% of stake
5+ points
Lose 100% of stake
Calamitous Failure
Lose 150% of stake

Example 1: Average Jacques (Savvy 0, no career) plays a 100£ stake to win 25% (difficulty 9+1 for no career) and rolls average (7+0); therefore failing by 3 points, and losing half his stake in an hour. 

Example 2: Jacqeline the Gamester (Savvy 1, Gambler 2) plays a 100£ stake trying to win 25% (difficulty 9) and rolls average (7+1+2), therefore she succeeds and wins 25£ in a single hour.

Example 3: Cool Hand Louis (Savvy 3, Gambler 4) plays a 100£ stake trying to win 25% (difficulty 9) and rolls average (7+3+4), which is 5 over the difficulty so Louis gets the next highest take or 50% and wins 50£ in a single hour.

Example 4: Next Cool Hand Louis plays the same 100£ stake, but trying to win 100% (difficulty 13) and rolls average (7+3+3), therefore succeeding and winning 50£ in a single hour.

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