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Author Topic: Under 100 - Gambling Rules  (Read 1173 times)

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Offline Niarra

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Under 100 - Gambling Rules
« on: 03/04/17, 10:15:53 PM »
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To answer the "why" question right off the bat: Yes, I am about to host a Gambling Tournament RP event in-game.  :whee: And so:

Under 100 – Gambling System

This module for the Under 100 system provides rules for gambling, intended for use in adventures where gambling will feature prominently.

To understand how these rules will work you need to know the basics of the Under 100 system – just reading up through the ‘Skill Group Allocations’ category of that post would be enough functional knowledge to get started.

These gambling rules can run the gamut of very simple (for games of chance for which the GM has chosen to prohibit cheating) to more complex (for games where some skill is involved and the GM has allowed cheating).

These rules are not attempting to approximate real play for SW games that may already be carefully detailed (such as Sabacc). Rather, they are intended to be adaptable and applicable to almost any type of gambling the players or the GM may want to use, and so are an abstraction to simulate win & loss, with the detail/color being provided by the RP.

There are three sets of rules, one each for three particular game types: games of Chance, Skill, and Mixed (wherein Mixed includes elements of both chance and skill). The specific examples for each category are Dice, Dejarik, and Sabacc respectively. But the idea here is that if people would like to color their game differently (to say it’s World-X Chess/Bones/Tiles/etc.), they’d just need to determine which category their game fits into and use those rules.

For games of Chance and Mixed games, I am also including rules for how to cheat. Because let’s face it... cheating is an intrinsic part of space opera gambling.  :evil: However, cheating does immediately make managing the gameplay significantly more complicated, so a GM can choose to prohibit cheating for ease if that’s desired.

Games of Chance (example: Dice)

A game of chance is played using a simple roll-off and elimination mechanic, with all participants rolling each round. In keeping with the Under 100 system, lower rolls are better.   

The usual Chance/Dice game is comprised of sets of throws that consecutively winnow out losers. One player must be eliminated in each round. There is no maximum number of players, and minimum number of players is just two. (For two player games, only the Final Round rules below apply.)

The below example shows number of rounds/sets assuming six players. (The actual number of rounds will be decided by how many are required to achieve full elimination at the rate of one player per round.)

Rounds 1 through 4
Step 1: All players roll.
Step 2: The two players with the highest rolls then engage in a one v. one roll-off, and the player with the higher number of that roll off is eliminated from the game.

Round 5, Final Round – Two Players:
This round is a best two out of three tosses, to determine the ultimate winner of the game. As always, the lower roll wins the toss. 

Games of Skill (example: Dejarik)

There are many types of intelligence and experience that go into making someone good at games of skill. Someone can be an expert tactician, expert bluffer, or just have a lot of practice with the game. Maybe they’re a card counter or a techie who can calculate the probabilities behind the random generation field in Sabacc, or maybe they’re a grizzled battle commander who understands the psychology behind an opponent’s moves in Dejarik.

To best try to capture this mix of possibilities and allow players to feel like their characters can be good at a game of skill (even if they otherwise built their character’s Under 100 stats to gear them primarily for combat), the following steps are applied to determine a special Gambling skill threshold.

Note: Games of Skill cannot incorporate cheating.

Determining a Gambling Threshold for Games of Skill:

Step 1: A player chooses three skills from the below list. All three of their choices must be Skill Groups that their character possesses as part of their 9 Skill Groups.
  • Perception
  • Social
  • Technical
  • Underworld
  • Historian
  • The player’s highest combat skill from: Melee Agile, Melee Brawn, Force, or Ranged. (This is meant to account for tactical knowledge from a player’s combat experience. Only one of these four skills can be chosen.)
Step 2: An average is taken of the three thresholds from the Skill Groups selected in Step 1. That average becomes a player’s Gambling threshold.
  • Example: Fan Bolo, a canny smuggler, chooses to apply his Social (70), Underworld (40), and Ranged (60) skills, resulting in a Gambling threshold of 57 (which is an average of the three). Fan Bolo will proceed to roll against this threshold of 57 for each check required throughout the game.
Ideally, determining a Gambling threshold is done prior to the adventure, when characters submit their character sheet to the GM.

Playing a Game of Skill (Games of Skill are limited to only 2 players):
  • A game of skill lasts six rounds, with a final round seven finisher if needed. (This is set at six to keep a game moving along in real time, but IC time can be as much of an abstraction as players & GM wish.)
  • For the first three rounds, the two players roll opposed Gambling skill checks. As with all opposed checks in Under 100, if one player fails to roll under their own threshold they automatically fail, and in this case lose the round. If both players make their checks, the player with the lower roll wins. If both players fail their checks, the round is a stalemate.
  • The player who won best two of three in the first three rounds goes into the second three rounds with a bonus of 20 to their Gambling checks for the remainder of the game. (e.g., someone who starts with a Gambling threshold of 60 would have that increased to 80.) If there was a stalemate among the first three rounds, no one gets a bonus and the rest of the game proceeds with unaltered Gambling thresholds.
  • At the end of all six rounds, whichever player has more won rounds wins the game. If there is a tie on number of won rounds, a seventh round tie-breaker is rolled.

Mixed Games – Skill & Chance (example: Sabacc)

Mixed games borrow rules elements from both the Skill and Chance game rules, with some slight adjustments. The elements that go into a Mixed game are:

•   Mixed Games require that players determine a Gambling threshold, using the rules as described in the Games of Skill section above.
•   Mixed Games can incorporate more than two players, just as games of Chance do.
•   Mixed Games can incorporate Cheating rules.
•   Mixed Games are elimination games, like games of Chance. The number of rounds will be determined by the number of players, with a rate of elimination of one player per round.

Gameplay for a Mixed Game includes the following basic steps:

Step 1: Players determine their Gambling threshold. (Ideally this is done prior to the adventure, when characters submit their character sheet to the GM.)

Step 2: All of the Cheating steps (as outlined in the Cheating section below) take place, if cheating has been permitted. Included in these steps will be the announcement of each player’s adjusted Gambling threshold. If cheating has not been permitted, then this step is skipped entirely. 

Step 3: Gameplay rounds proceed as per the games of Chance rules, with each round resulting in one player’s elimination (at minimum), and the final round determining the ultimate winner. However, in a Mixed game, the elimination mechanic is a little different, following these steps:
  • When all players roll each round, any player whose roll fails to meet their skill threshold (i.e., does not fall under it) moves to the elimination rolls for that round.
  • Once doing elimination rolls, any player who fails to meet their skill threshold is immediately eliminated. This means that multiple players may be eliminated in one round.
  • Of players participating in elimination rolls who do meet their threshold, the player with the highest roll is eliminated, and all other participants are returned to the game for the next round.
Cheating Rules (in Games of Chance and Mixed Games only):

If a GM has chosen to allow cheating, there are additional steps and rules imposed on gameplay that are designed to maintain illusion and immersion, and functionally make cheaters as undetectable as possible (as good cheaters would be).

When cheating is allowed, the steps that are taken at the beginning of a game determine what each player's Gambling threshold is going to be. How this skill is determined varies depending on whether or not the game is Mixed or Chance, and is outlined in the Cheat rules below.

Only two specific skills can be used to cheat: Gadgetry, and the Force. Gadgetry in this case represents whatever clever devices or slight of hand skills people have developed to help them manipulate dice or cards, and the Force represents influencing how the dice might fall or the cards might change.

Cheating is always an opposed check being made against the other players. Every participant in a game has a chance to catch that you are cheating, so cheating is riskier the more players are involved.

To meet the needs of both transparency and secrecy that are difficult to juggle when everyone needs to be rolling off in the same chat window, all players need to participate in the cheat rolls, but not everyone is required to cheat. Whether or not they choose to cheat is something a player will whisper to the GM, and the GM will use the rolls that everyone made publicly to determine success or failure.

Cheat rolls happen at the very beginning of a game, prior to any of the actual Gambling rolls. A number of steps are involved in this Set Up phase. Below is an outline of those steps, and the effects they will have. (Side note: Some of the calculations here might sound a bit tricky, but they are all on the GM so players don’t need to fret too much.  :lol: A handy Excel spreadsheet should make tracking this much easier on GMs.)

Game Set Up for Cheating-Permitted Games:
Step 1: The GM determines how many rounds are going to be involved (see the rules for games of Chance), and announces this to the players. 

Step 2: GM announces the Cheat Phase. There is a period of time in which players who wish to cheat whisper their intention to the GM. A player who chooses to cheat cannot also choose to participate in the Luck Phase (see Step 3).

Step 3: GM announces the Luck Phase. There is a period of time in which players can choose whether or not to use one or both of their Heroic Moment points to increase their luck for the extent of the game. A player who wishes to do so whispers their intention to the GM. Luck cannot be detected (see Step 5) and does not count as cheating.

Step 4: All players (whether you are cheating or not) roll a cheat roll – either Gadgetry or Force. As normal with Under 100, only rolls that fall below a PC’s skill threshold count as successful for those players who are attempting to cheat.

Step 5: All players roll a cheat-detection roll – either Perception or Force (player discretion for skill choice). As normal with Under 100, only rolls that fall below a PC’s skill threshold count as successful.

Step 6: All players roll a revelation round roll that includes as its range the number of rounds the GM announced in Step 1. (e.g., if the game will have 5 rounds, all players do /roll 1-5)

Step 7: The GM looks at the cheat rolls made by the players who whispered their intention to cheat. The cheat-detection rolls of all players are compared against the cheat rolls; anyone who rolled a lower detection roll than a cheat roll is able to successfully detect the cheating. This can result in a variety of successes and failures if more than one player is attempting to cheat. For example: Cheater 1 rolled a 30 on their cheat roll and Cheater 2 rolled a 50 on their cheat roll. Player 5 (who is not cheating) rolled a 40 on their cheat-detection roll, and that means they successfully notice that Cheater 2 is cheating, but do not notice that Cheater 1 is.

Step 8: The GM publicly announces what the Gambling thresholds are for each player. The threshold is determined by the following:
  • In games of Chance, all players start with a default Gambling threshold of 70. In Mixed games, players start with their Gambling threshold as determined in the games of Skill rules.
  • For every Heroic Moment point a player chose to invest during the Luck Phase, their threshold is increased by 10, to a potential maximum of 90 for games of Chance and potential 100+ in Mixed games.
  • Every player who chose to cheat and successfully rolled beneath their Gadgetry or Force threshold to do so (Step 4) can have their Gambling threshold increased by either 10 or 20; if their Gadgetry/Force roll fell in the upper half of their threshold it is increased by 10, and if it fell in the lower half of their threshold it is increased by 20.
    • Example: Player 1 with a Gadgetry threshold of 60 rolls 52 on their cheat roll, and that gives them a bonus of 10. Player 2, also with a Gadegtry threshold of 60, rolls 25 on their cheat roll, and that gives them a bonus of 20. (Rolls are rounded down to determine how they straddle the half-way mark of a threshold.)
  • Note: The idea behind how all of the above works is to make it so that players cannot distinguish in advance whether or not another player’s improved Gambling threshold is resulting from cheating or luck; only a successful revelation (Steps 6 & 7) can tell a player that.
Step 9: Players who succeed at a cheat-detection roll have their revelation about the cheating on the round determined by their roll in Step 5. Realization may dawn even after the cheating player has been eliminated. No one will know in advance whether or not they are going to detect a cheater; the GM will whisper their revelation to them as the revelation round comes up. After that, it’s entirely up to the player how they wish to react to their revelation.   

Heroic Moment Points in Gambling:

Heroic Moment points can have a unique usage in gambling, separate from the normal four uses for a HM point (as described in the core rules post.

Heroic Moment points can only be used in gambling when a GM has chosen to allow the Cheating rules in a game. In this scenario, HM points come into play during Step 3 of the game Set Up for cheat-permitted games: the Luck Phase.

When HM points are used in this fashion there is a special refresh mechanic that comes into play (normally HM points are only refreshed at GM discretion if an adventure goes longer than anticipated). This refresh mechanic is:
•   If a player uses one or more HM points during the Luck Phase, one Heroic Moment point is refreshed for a player every time they are the final winner of a game (the whole game, not a single round within a game). Only one HM point can be refreshed in this fashion, even if the player invested both of their HM points during the Luck Phase.
« Last Edit: 03/11/17, 03:38:53 PM by Niarra »
Niarra Reymark, Jedi Master and Diplomat // Derrad Reymark, Starfighter Ace and Softie // Jheva, Padawan and Potential Seer // Yatei, Jedi Pilot and ex-Ronin
Sivala, Sith Academy Overseer // Rannayel, Sith Lord and Museum Curator
Erran Veshkgalaar, Mandalorian Accountant // Caustrin Neyvor, Dangerous Puppeteer // Ariza Fey, Psycho and Pyro // Kettur Vaen, Semi-Spook

Offline Niarra

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Re: Under 100 - Gambling Rules
« Reply #1 on: 03/04/17, 10:17:26 PM »
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Before I host the gambling tournament event, I'm going to want to play test this. Among many concerns that need play testing is how this might be handled cross-faction if the event were to be held in game (which is where I'd like to hold it).

So I'm putting out a call for guinea-pig volunteers to help me play test! Let me know if this is something that might be up your alley.
Niarra Reymark, Jedi Master and Diplomat // Derrad Reymark, Starfighter Ace and Softie // Jheva, Padawan and Potential Seer // Yatei, Jedi Pilot and ex-Ronin
Sivala, Sith Academy Overseer // Rannayel, Sith Lord and Museum Curator
Erran Veshkgalaar, Mandalorian Accountant // Caustrin Neyvor, Dangerous Puppeteer // Ariza Fey, Psycho and Pyro // Kettur Vaen, Semi-Spook