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Author Topic: Sabacc Playtesters Needed!  (Read 127 times)

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Offline Niarra

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Sabacc Playtesters Needed!
« on: 06/26/18, 02:06:28 AM »
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I have always wanted to run a RP Sabacc tournament that uses actual Sabacc rules, and Solo: A Star Wars Story only made that desire all the more fierce.

Other fans before me have cobbled together rules for Sabacc play based on all the lore, and I used this set as my foundation. With that as the starting point, I set out to create a few versions of Sabacc to be played in an in-game SWTOR RP environment (or a chatroom environment).

I'm at the point now where I could really use some play testers, and so I'm putting out the call!

I've designed three game variants: Super Simplified, Simplified, and True Sabacc.
  • The first (Super Simplified) is meant to play very quick, with many players, and it's not necessary for players to actually understand the canon rules of Sabacc in order to play.
  • The second (Simplified) is meant to play relatively quickly, but with more detail, and with a more limited number of players. It's not necessary for players to understand all the canon rules of Sabacc, but they should understand my gameplay rules of it.
  • The third (True Sabacc) is an attempt to approximate true canon gameplay and players absolutely should be familiar with both the canon rules and this rules variant. It will require an extremely limited number of players and should take quite some time to play through.
I am including the current version of the rules below (I tried to put them behind a spoiler tag but the formatting just wouldn't take it for some reason). If you are considering volunteering to play test, but you are appalled by the number of rules in this first draft and can't (or don't wish) to read through them, then play testing is not for you. Enthusiasm is appreciated, but what I really need in order to test this is people who have enough number-crunching-nerd in them to actually cheerfully read through all these rules and be prepared to spend an evening playing through them down-and-dirty style in-game. 

If anyone is interested, please let me know! (You'll be sparing the people whom I might press-gang into service in the absence of volunteers.  :evil:) Once I know who might be interested, I'll coordinate with folks for a time that works for everyone.





Okay! Below are the rules as they currently stand. I will update this post if / as changes are decided on. Note that you might see occasional references here to the Hutts and other things that might sound like RP color, and those are nods to what will end up being the RP setting of the event; for now they're not relevant except insofar as they contribute to actual rules.

Again, if you want to read the rules version of Sabacc that I am basing my adaptations on, you can find that here. Basically, Sabacc is a cross between poker and blackjack. The goal of the game is to get a hand that totals as close as possible to 23 (or alternatively -23, or a "literal" 23 with three cards valued 0 and 2 and 3, all depending on what version of the game you're playing, but in this case the negative and literal alternatives will only apply to my True Sabacc variant). While the goal of the game mirrors blackjack, it plays out like poker in terms of rounds, drawing cards, betting, and etc.


Luck / Force Points:

      * Every participating character will be granted 3 Luck/Force points (for the entire event, regardless of how many matches a player participates in). These points will be tracked by the GM as a player reports spending them.
      * A character may cash in a Luck/Force point as indicated in the gameplay rules below. (Note that using these points to Cheat is only applicable in the True Sabacc version.)


Super Simplified Sabacc (Electrum Circuit) – This version of Sabacc abstracts the full game into a single roll, and does not include negative values. Specific cards will not be referenced, and all values are abstracted into pure numbers. The goal is to achieve the closest hand value possible to 23. There is no Sabacc Shift in this version of play. There will be no player signup limit for this tier of play.

1. All players roll 1-100 in a single party with the GM. Results determine Play Order, highest to lowest.

2. Players ICly pay the ante of 100 credits.

3. The GM will group with players in Play Order, and players roll once, range 1-23.

4. Players have one chance to cash in a single Luck or Force point to reroll, still in private with GM.

5. In Play Order, players either fold or state their bets publicly (visible IC RP), as a single sum.

6. Players RP showing their cards.

7. Closest to 23 wins. Ties split the pot.


Simplified Sabacc (Aurodium Circuit) – This version of Sabacc plays over the course of four fixed rounds (plus one for a Sabacc Shift), and does not include negative values. Specific cards will not be referenced, and all values are abstracted into pure numbers. Rounds after the first are abstracted to represent adjustments to the initial hand dealt. The goal is to achieve the closest hand value possible to 23. There will be one Sabacc Shift in mid-game.  There will be a player/signup limit for this tier of play (to be determined by testing), first come first served.

1. All players roll 1-100 in a single party with the GM. Results determine Play Order, highest to lowest.

2. Players ICly pay the ante of 250 credits.

3. Initial Deal / Round 1: The GM will group with players in Play Order, and players roll once, range 1-23. This represents the total of the initial two cards of their hand.

            a. Players have a choice to cash in a single Luck or Force point to reroll, still in private with GM, before the GM moves on to the next player.

4. Betting: Players either fold or state their bets publicly (visible IC RP). Rules for raising or calling will not apply, any bet is fine, but to stay in the game a player must bet a minimum of the 250 credit ante.

5. Lock The Cards: Players have the option to either lock their entire hand (in other words, lock in the current total number value of their hand), or not. (NOTE: Locked hands in this version of Sabacc are not visible to other players.) Locking your hand at this point means you no longer participate in any further rounds of gameplay (except betting), so choose wisely.

6. Round 2: Players roll 1-2 in private with the GM. A result of 1 means the player subtracts 5 from their initial hand total, a result of 2 means they add 5.

            a. Players have a choice to cash in a single Luck or Force point to reroll.

7. Betting: Players either fold or state their bets publicly, with a minimum bet of 250 credits. (Players who have locked their hands must also fold or bet.)

8. Lock The Cards: Players have the option to lock their entire hand. Locking a hand at this point means no further participation in gameplay with the exception of betting, so choose wisely. But the choice to not lock a hand means that the Sabacc Shift will completely reset the value of the hand with a fresh roll… so... choose wisely!

9. Sabacc Shift: Any player who has not locked their hand takes the following action:

            a. Players roll once, in private with GM, range 1-23. This represents the new value of their hand.

            b. Players have a choice to cash in a single Luck or Force point to reroll.

10. Betting: Players either fold or state their bets publicly, with a minimum bet of 250 credits. (Players who have locked their hands must also fold or bet.)

11. Round 3: Players roll 1-2 in private with the GM. A result of 1 means the player subtracts 5 from their current hand total, a result of 2 means they add 5.

            a. Players have a choice to cash in a single Luck or Force point to reroll.

12. Lock The Cards: Players have the option to lock their entire hand.

13. Betting: Players either fold or state their bets publicly, with a minimum bet of 250 credits. (Players who have locked their hands must also fold or bet.)

14. Round 4: Players roll 1-2 in private with the GM. A result of 1 means the player subtracts 5 from their current hand total, a result of 2 means they add 5.

            a. Players have a choice to cash in a single Luck or Force point to reroll.

15. Final Bets: Players either fold or state their bets publicly, with a minimum bet of 250 credits. (Players who have locked their hands must also fold or bet.)

16. SHOW THE CARDS: All players RP showing their cards.

17. Closest to 23 wins. Ties split the pot.



True Sabacc (Nova Circuit) – This version of Sabacc attempts to most accurately approximate true Sabacc gameplay. It will play for as many rounds as the players progress the game. Specific cards will be referenced and tracked (all 76 cards, including all four suits and face cards).  There is a random chance each round for a Sabacc Shift to be triggered, and players have an opportunity each round to lock any number of their cards. Because so many variables need to be tracked, the number of participants at this tier will be extremely limited (most likely two to three players, to be determined by testing). Please do not sign up for this tier unless you are willing to commit to long game play, to RP it all the way through, to fully read the below rules and prepare, and to coordinate with the GM and trust to the GM’s book-keeping.

When players roll to determine the cards they are dealt (draw/trade/shift/etc), they will roll on a number range indicated by the GM/bookkeeper, starting with 1-76 and diminishing by one for every card already dealt in the game. This roll is compared to an evolving table in the GM’s keeping to determine which card the roll result equates to, and the GM/bookkeeper will communicate privately to the player what card they are dealt. This table will be adjusted by the GM behind the scenes after every card dealt so that there is never a chance of the same card being dealt twice (so those who choose to cheat run a legitimate chance of their cheating being detected depending on how observant the other players have been).

For this variant of gameplay, each player will have a bookkeeper avatar partied with them at all times, who will be either controlled by the GM or in voice communication with the GM to facilitate book-keeping. At any point in the gameplay rules as outlined below where it says the player “rolls,” they will be doing this in private party chat with their bookkeeper.

1. All players roll 1-100 in a single party with the GM. Results determine Draw Order, highest to lowest. Draw Order will apply to the rest of the game. 

2. The Draw Order party breaks up, and each player parties up with their individual bookkeeper.

3. Players ICly pay an ante of 500 credits into the Main Pot, and an ante of 1,000 credits into the Sabacc Pot.

4. Initial Deal / Round 1: In this round, players are dealt the two cards of their starting hand. This round incorporates the following four steps, in this order.

            a. In Draw Order, players roll against the full deck table for their first card (first player will roll 1-76, second player 1-75, and etc; players will be told the range to roll on by their bookkeeper). They will be told by their bookkeeper which card they are dealt based on this roll. 

            b. Players have a choice to cash in a single Luck or Force point to reroll.

            c. In Draw Order, players roll against the deck table for their second card (as adjusted based on current remaining card count).  They will be told by their bookkeeper which card they are dealt based on this roll. 

            d. Players have a choice to cash in a single Luck or Force point to reroll.

5. Draw, Trade, or Stand: In Draw Order, players choose to take one of the following three actions.

            a. Draw: Players roll against the deck table for an additional card. (Roll range and resulting card will be communicated by their bookkeeper.) Players have the option to cash in a Luck or Force point to reroll.

            b. Trade: Players publicly discard a card by ICly describing discarding a card, and thus revealing the value of the discarded card to everyone at the table. Players then roll against the deck table for a replacement card. (Roll range and resulting card will be communicated by their bookkeeper.) Players have the option to cash in a Luck or Force point to reroll.

            c. Stand: Players ICly declare their intention to stand, neither drawing nor trading their cards.

6. Betting: In Draw Order, players either fold or state their bets publicly (visible IC RP). All bets are put into the Main Pot. Players must at minimum match the bet placed by the player before them, and have the option to raise by an amount of their choosing thus setting the new minimum bet. The game cannot be called at this time.

7. Lock The Cards: In Draw Order, players have the option to lock the value of any or all of their cards by placing them face up in the Static Field on the table. This action is taken ICly in public, so all players will be made aware of the value of the cards. (Each player is expected to keep track of their opponents’ visible card values on their own, the GM already has enough bookkeeping to do and will not be reminding you, thank you very much!)

8. Possible Sabacc Shift: The GM will roll 1-100. Any number between 33 and 66 will result in a Sabacc Shift. If a Sabacc Shift occurs, the following takes place:

            a. In Draw Order, player card values are reset by “erasing” the previous card values of all cards in the player’s hand (ie, not locked in the Static Field), and then rolling as many times as they have cards to determine their new card values. (Roll ranges and resulting cards will be communicated by their bookkeeper.)

9. Draw, Trade, or Stand / Round 2: This step proceeds the same as Step 5, described above.

10. Betting: This step proceeds the same as Step 6, described above. 

11. Lock The Cards: This step proceeds the same as Step 7, described above.

12. Possible Sabacc Shift: This step proceeds the same as Step 8, described above.

13. Draw, Trade, or Stand / Round 3: This step proceeds the same as Step 5, described above.

14. Betting: This step proceeds the same as Step 6, described above. 

15. Lock The Cards: This step proceeds the same as Step 7, described above.

16. Possible Sabacc Shift: This step proceeds the same as Step 8, described above. NOTE that this is the last time a Sabacc Shift is possible, further rounds of play do not incorporate this mechanic.

17. Draw, Trade, or Stand / Round 4: This step proceeds the same as Step 5, described above.

18. Lock The Cards: This step proceeds the same as Step 7, described above. NOTE that from this round forward the option to lock the cards comes before the betting stage.

19. Betting: From this point on in the game, during the betting phase a player can choose to approach betting as in all the previous phases (see Step 6) by meeting the previous bet or raising – or all players now have the option to call the game. (If no one calls, continue on to Step 20.) A player choosing to call the game ICly announces their intention to call when their turn in the Draw Order for betting arises. The calling player must meet the previous bet as part of calling the hand (but cannot raise). At that point, proceeding on from the calling player, a new and final round of betting occurs, wherein players must again meet the previous bet to stay in the game but cannot raise. When the round of betting has once again returned to the player who called, they too must meet the bet. Before players reveal their hands, everyone has an option to CHEAT:

            a. Cheating: Players can cash in all three of their Luck/Force points at once (meaning if you spent any of your points previously, you cannot cheat) in order to ADD a card of their choosing to their hand. (Please note that if you plan to cheat the GM expects you to be familiar with the Sabacc cards and know which card you want to add to your hand; do not ask the GM for advice!)

            b. When the GM has concluded the cheating mechanics with all players, the Dealer will ICly announce that all players should now reveal their hands. Once hands are revealed, skip to Step 24 below. 

20. Draw, Trade, or Stand / Rounds 5-?: For each subsequent round played until a player calls the game, this step will proceed the same as Step 5, described above.

21. Lock The Cards: This step proceeds the same as Step 7, described above.

22. Betting: This step proceeds the same as Step 19, described above.   

23. Repeat steps 20-22 until a player calls the game.

24. Determining the winning hand:  Hands that qualify for a win are described below, in the order in which they beat out other hands. (In other words, a hand higher in the list will beat a hand lower in the list.) Note that the Hutts are being generous at this tournament, and no one is going to be required to pay into the pot for Bombing Out.
  • Idiot’s Array: A hand made up of the Idiot card (value of 0), a 2 value card of any suit, and a 3 value card of any suit. (A literal 023).
  • Pure Sabacc: A hand totaling 23 or -23.
  • The hand which comes closest to totaling either 23 or -23.

25. Breaking a tie: If two players have equal winning hands, the tie is broken by Sudden Demise. In Sudden Demise, each player is dealt one extra card (players will roll against the deck table, as communicated by their bookkeeper) and then hand totals are re-calculated.

26. To the Victor the Spoils: The winning player claims the Main Pot. If that player won with an Idiot’s Array or a Pure Sabacc they also claim the Sabacc Pot (otherwise the Sabacc Pot goes the house).
« Last Edit: 06/27/18, 12:02:58 AM by Niarra »
Niarra Reymark, Jedi Master and Diplomat // Derrad Reymark, Starfighter Ace and Softie // Jheva, Padawan and Pattern Reader // Yatei, Jedi Knight // Zelek Arr, Corn Grower
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 LVT

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Re: Sabacc Playtesters Needed!
« Reply #1 on: 06/26/18, 04:36:26 PM »
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I'm game to learn Sabaac!
Turari (29, Major, jr. grade CEDF)     Silivia Fenir (21, Freighter Captain)
Lashila Sellara (25, Grey Sith)         Harkasone Milan (29, Philanthropist)
Reill Farr(31, Silent Mandalorian)     Mystenin Felsa (26, 'Green' Jedi)
Touko Saizar(19, Turari's underling) Temple Guard #124(35, Pro Spook)
                                                    Freya Merril (?, ???)

Offline Imazi

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Re: Sabacc Playtesters Needed!
« Reply #2 on: 06/26/18, 08:31:05 PM »
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I'll try to see if I can absorb this on the weekend. Right now I am learning a new job and my brain is maxed out, but I always wanted there to be some kind of approximation of Sabacc and Pazaak in game.
Check my profile for links my short story and art work threads.

New to RPing? Check my Getting Started Guide.

Offline Imazi

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Re: Sabacc Playtesters Needed!
« Reply #3 on: 07/07/18, 11:04:32 PM »
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OK, I got through the super simplified versions, I haven't gotten through the true sabaac version yet. I can wrap my mind around the first two and I can see how it can be fun although I can see it being a pain in the behind for the GM to keep track of.
Check my profile for links my short story and art work threads.

New to RPing? Check my Getting Started Guide.