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  #1  
Old Oct 31st, 2021, 11:06 PM
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Lightbulb Gambling for fun and profit in 5e

Hello, everyone! I'm thinking about starting a campaign soon, if time and scheduling allows me to dedicate a while to it; Adventurers from various regions of time and space, realities parallel from each other, join together in the fabled plane of Sigil to compete in a competition of 99 percent luck and 1 percent impulse: a poker tournament. It's a pretty wacky idea that doesn't require too much plot or planning, but it does require a lot of gambling minigames. Please let me explain:
 

And so, my campaign idea would be basically an open room for characters to join and play with each other. However, I'm not exactly sure how to implement the actual mecanics of poker in this site, if it's even possible to begin with. Thus, I was wondering if you knew any interesting chance games to give the party, based around all kinds of skills from D&D; I plan to add challenges and games for every niche a D&D character could have, like some sort of colosseum for Strength-based characters, or maybe some actually strategic games for Wizards and other smart people. In any case, I'd be thankful to learn about any gambling or tavern minigames you've played in your own games, to add to my roster! Thanks a lot for your help!
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Old Nov 1st, 2021, 06:57 AM
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the easiest would be some variation of Craps... simple dice rolling. You can change rules, goals, etc., but rolling dice is built into the system.

A step up is roulette... fairly simple, bet and roll. One die for number, a second for color.


PLaying a card game (poker) gets more complex, due to the fact that although you could assign numbers for cards, programming the roller to not repeat a number already thrown is... impossible? Difficult? You could overcome this by simply having a deck of cards at your desk, and dealing out the hands needed, telling everyone (in secret) what they have, and then using some amount of bluff/feint/intimidate skill sets to determine betting/winners.
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Old Nov 1st, 2021, 02:01 PM
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There are rules in Xanathars for gambling in the abstract, presumably with a bunch of NPCs participating.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2021, 07:44 AM
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I did something like this once because my group spontaneously decided to go gambling during an IRL session, prompting me to have to quickly come up with a way to run a game of chance on the spot. They ended up playing some poker and I came up with some abstract rules on how to run the game. Now my players ended up winning big, so I donít think these rules are balanced but it might be a jumping-off point. If anyone can help to balance it better, have at it!
  • I got the player to roll a series of checks to get bonuses to the final roll to determine if they win the hand.
  • Roll a d20 to see how good your hand is. The bonus is worked out the same way that the Ability Bonuses are, so a 20 is +5, 18 or 19 is +4, etc.
  • If the character is proficient in cards, add proficiency bonus here.
  • Depending on how good your hand is you can choose to roll a Deception check. So if you have a good hand you can try to make the NPCs think itís bad or vice versa. This is the stage at which the player can choose to bluff to win the pot by default if they have a bad hand. It is contested by an Insight check, I just rolled once no matter how many other players there were and how well/badly they rolled determined how many fell for the charade.
  • The player rolls an Insight check against an NPC Deception check. As above but reversed.
  • The player can choose to cheat if they wish (this should provide a big reward but be very risky). For example I allowed one player to use Prestidigitation to make the cards in their hand seem better (looking back I should probably not have, as casting a spell in the middle of a game should be very iffy). For a more mundane method of cheating, they roll a Sleight-of-Hand check contested by a Perception roll for the NPCs. If they succeed they get a +5 (replaces the original roll for the hand). Failure should mean that they are banned from the game, minimum, unless they can somehow talk their way out of it.
  • Then there was a bit of RP to see if the player could get the other players to match any raises the player chose to make. The previous Deception/Insight rolls were used to influence this. This determines how much is in the pot to be won.
  • Finally the moment of truth, the player rolls a D20 and adds any bonuses, if they roll a 20 or more they win the hand.
The maximum bonus the player can have on their final roll would be 5 (plus proficiency), so their chance of winning any given hand is fairly low. On the other hand, if their Insight and Deception checks work well they can bluff hands and can get a good read on when to fold early.

So important skills for this game are Insight, Deception, Sleight of Hand and Perception (plus certain spells, especially for Subtle Spellíd Sorcerers).

In regards to balance, I suppose the best thing to do is determine how much money an opponent is willing to bet by how good of a gambler they are, and better gamblers get better bonuses to things like Insight, Deception, etc., although another option would be to adjust the DC from 20 depending on how skilled the opponents are.
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Old Jan 25th, 2022, 12:16 AM
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A recent gameplay session included a dinosaur race. And had odds for each participant winning.

I didn't do too well on that one.
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Old Dec 23rd, 2022, 12:04 AM
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I have a problem with roulette so let's go. PayPal OK?
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Last edited by psuedenim; Dec 23rd, 2022 at 12:04 AM.
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Old Dec 23rd, 2022, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psuedenim View Post
I have a problem with roulette so let's go. PayPal OK?
So says the bold gamer with a Natural 1 on their avatar.
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Old Dec 23rd, 2022, 11:43 AM
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Roulette let's me pick zeroes, guaranteed win for me... right... right?
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