Powers and Perils

Gambling (Alternative System)


Player decides on his stake for the night. This is his gauge of risk. Since it is possible, on a real bad night to lose up to five times this, he should keep this in mind when he goes to the tables, or be prepared to hand over items or get a good beating.


The size of the stake determines the venue. Venue is a combination of crowd wealth and size of the gambling crowd. Keep in mind that, in general, as you get to higher coins you will be dealing with greater skill.

AverageLargeGrand Skill
Poor1BB-1CC5BB-2CC1CC-3CC 0-2
Common1CC-4CC2CC-7CC3CC-1SC 1-3
Comfortable4CC-1SC7CC-2SC1SC-3SC 1-5
Wealthy1SC-4SC2SC-7SC3SC-1GC 2-6
Noble4SC-1GC7SC-2GC1GC-3GC 2-7
Royal1GC+2GC+3GC+ 3-8
 x1x2x3 Payout/Loss
 +0+1d3+1d6Skill add

Not all venues are possible in all places. A town in the sticks may be limited to "Common" wealth levels, simply because everyone is poor. Likewise, if the only game in town is a tiny inn, "Large" and "Grand" gaming may not be available. Other then those limitations, the player may choose his venue based on his stake.

The "skill add" is used to simulate the added problem of more gamblers to deal with as well as the chance of "ringers". Keep in mind that for Joe Average x1 man, highest gambling skill is EL2; with EL3 if they are talented (better characteristics). A "x2" gambler will have skills between EL4 and EL6. In general, only character class gamblers will exceed 6.

The Game

Next, the player rolls his 3d10+EL and the GM secretly rolls 3d10+Skill. The GM will inform the player if he is a winner or loser. At this point the player may "DOUBLE DOWN" and double his potential payout (or possibly his possible loss). Both he and the GM roll an additional d10 and add it to their totals.


This is where it gets interesting. If the player wins the roll, he has a basic payout of 10% of his stake for every 5 points (round up) his total beats the house. Likewise, if he loses the roll he has a loss of 10% for every 5 points (round down) he is behind. This basic payout is modified by the player's "hand" as compared to the GM's.

Player Was WinnerHouse Was Winner
Player HadHouse HadPlayer HadHouse Had
Highest Diex2/2/2 x2
Highest Pairx3/3/3 x3
Highest Triplex5/5/5 x5

For winnings, the player keeps his stake and gains his basic payout times the "player winner" wild-card factor that applies times the payout scale for the size of the crowd. This value is DOUBLED if he doubled down.

For loses, the total loss is the payout times the "house winner" wild-card factor times the loss scale for the size of the crowd. Again, this is DOUBLED if the player doubled down. If the stake covers this loss, the player is fine. If the stake is not enough, the player will need to pitch in extra cash, or items (at 1/3 value) or some acceptable form of IOU ("I'll cover your loss if you do a job for me...").

EXAMPLE - A player (EL5) with a stake of 1SC finds himself a large, comfortable venue. The GM figures that average skill is 3, and rolls a "2" for the size. The "house" has a skill of 5. Rolling the dice, the player gets a "5","10","2" for a total of 22. The house gets "3","4","5" for a total of 17. The player wins by 5, so his basic payout is 10% which is doubled due to the size of the venue (2CC). He also had the highest die, which beats the house's "hand", so this payout is doubled to 4CC profit for his night of gambling.

Now say the character felt he had a good hand and decided to go for it and double down. He rolls a "2", giving him a 24. The house rolls a "7", giving it a 24 as well. In this case it's a push, so the player loses nothing (and wins nothing). If the house had rolled an "8" here, the player would have lost and would owe the basic cost of 2CC, doubled to 4CC for the double down. However, he still would have had the high die, so his loss is cut in half to 2CC.

If the house had rolled a "5" the player would still have won, just won less. His basic winnings would have been 2CC, doubled to 4CC for the double down. But the house's pair beats his high die, so his actual winnings are cut to a third, rounded down (1CC).

As you can see, the player has 3 points of choice here: 1) Stake, 2)Venue (to some degree) and 3) Double down. There is nothing that says the group cannot RP this in some how. A fantastic win could lead to claims of cheating and all that might entail. The actual cheating rules can still be used (with the added EL obviously upping the chance of winning as well as the basic payout). For detecting cheaters, use the house's skill as the gambling EL and assume Em of 10 in most cases, 20 if around a lot of pros.

Burton Choinski