View Full Version : [D&D 3.P] Games of Chance, How and when to use them?

2011-01-24, 06:12 PM
Alright, GitP forums, please give me some advise.

I will soon be launching into running a new Pathfinder campaign with my group, with a highly urbanized focus (I'm taking Ptolus basically and converting as needed). One of the areas I'd like to steer the campaign (or at least give the players the option of exploring) into is concerning the major crime factions of the massive city, and of course one of their major sources of income are the illegally run casinos in the backrooms of shops or in unused warehouses. Well, and prostitutes, but there's the BoEF for that.

Anyway, simply put, there is going to be a fair bit of games of chance going around and I'm pretty sure players are going to want to have a few games now and then, if not trying to become regular gamblers themselves, potentially anyway.

This leads me to a question of how I should run them? While I don't want the game to turn into a 3-hour poker night, I also want it to be a little interesting and exciting, not just "Roll a profession:Gambler check" or something.

Now some games like blackjack could be easy enough to run quickly, I'm wondering if there are any other games like this for cards or dice that can be used? How much should I allow players to win? If a player does put ranks in profession:gambler and we do it with real play, should a good profession check allow them to move a chip after the game? Change the amount they bet slightly afterwards? Allow them to outright cheat in some fashion?

TL;DR Looking for success and failure stories of gambling games in RPGs, so I can learn and plan (and steal good game ideas) from them.

2011-01-24, 06:43 PM
I've only seen it once. D&D night turned into poker night, which was fun, but... not D&D.

So, personally, I would just handle it as a Profession(Gambling) check.

2011-01-24, 06:44 PM
Wip out your best poker face and get the chips :smalltongue:, my group and I were just talking about playing poker at our last session. Mechanics are difficult, but unless you're introducing an NPC who's a master gambler, or your PCs actually took ranks in Prof: Gambling, you might be able to just sweep the mechanics under the table and play some creative gambling games with them.

For some inspiration you might want to watch episode 10(?) of the Jojo's Bizarre Adventure OVA.

I've only seen it once. D&D night turned into poker night, which was fun, but... not D&D.

So, personally, I would just handle it as a Profession(Gambling) check.

I don't know; come to think of it, playing poker in character could be really fun :smallcool:.

2011-01-24, 07:03 PM
I would use a combined technique. Use Profession (Gambling) checks -- preferably more than one per player -- to model the general ups and downs of the evening's play. This should go quickly, but do take the time to have them meet a couple interesting NPC opponents. As the rivalries with these NPCs push the bets to escalate, play out the pivotal hand of poker of round of dice directly, playing the hands of the rival NPCs yourself.

Make the stakes on that "live" round high enough to have a notable effect on the night's gains or losses, but not so high as to make the player's gambling skills more important than the character's. (This last issue will matter more in a game of skill, like poker, than in one of pure chance like craps.)

You can also "cheat" a little to reflect the PC's skill. If the PC has a higher gampling skill than the NPC, you can make a foolish draw for the NPC to reflect the difference, without the player ever being able to tell.