The Storm Has a Name
Use: Unskilled use penalized. Macro skill. May be used in round play to simulate highly competitive gambling.
Sample specializations: Specific games of skill (poker, blackjack, craps), specific games of chance (roulette, horse racing, boxing)
Axiom: Social 7
Gambling is the ability to successfully play the odds in games of skill and chance against other people. The two types of games are handled in separate ways since one is based on the character’s active participation in events while the other involves wagering on random chance or on the abilities of someone other than the gambler.
In games of skill, such as most card games, each participant in the game makes a gambling skill check and the character with the highest total wins. For a more dramatic, back-and-forth game of gambling, the skill can be used in round play and combined with the use of other skills such as trick, test of will and prestidigitation where the gamblers attempt to influence the odds more in their own favor.
In games of chance, the gambler tries to predict the outcome of an event that she is not directly involved in, such as picking who will win a boxing match or the determination of random numbers in games like roulette. In these games, the gambler makes a gambling skill check against a difficulty determined by the gamemaster based on the odds of winning using the Difficulty Number Scale.
Cheating: The gambling skill can be used to detect cheating in both games of skill and games of chance. It does not allow a character to cheat though, which has to be done with other skills.
Prestidigitation, for example, can be used to roll loaded dice or “stack the deck” in a card game without anyone noticing. The trick skill could also be used for the same effects. In games of skill, the difficulty to detect cheating is the skill value generated by the cheater.
In games of chance, the gamemaster should set the difficulty using the Difficulty Number Scale based on the difference between the normal odds and the illegitimate odds.
Example: Marco is in Atlantic City hoping to win enough money for himself and his friends to afford repairs on Quin’s helicopter.
Marco sits down at a roulette table and starts betting. After losing several games in a row, even after making some good gambling skill totals, Juan tells Becky that Marco suspects the game is rigged.
The table is in fact rigged; Becky decided that the normal odds of winning at roulette are Difficult but the house has rigged the table so that it’s actually Very Hard. Becky figures that noticing the winning odds at this table are different is a Difficult task for someone with gambling. If Marco can beat the number for a Difficult task with his gambling, he’ll know that the game is fixed.
Moving to a blackjack table, Marco decides to watch the dealer before playing to see if this game is also rigged. The dealer is in fact using her prestidigitation skill to cheat the players. Her prestidigitation skill value is the difficulty for Marco’s gambling skill check.