Campaign of the Month: December 2016
Gamma World 2754
Gambling is popular in all the TechI+ settlements along the I15. Some towns such as Nephi and Spanish Fork feature permanent establishments providing managed games of chance in many forms including cards, blackjack and dice. Some of these games such as Poker are holdovers from ancient times, while others are new inventions. New Salt City’s ‘Airfield City’ is the gambling Mecca of the Utah region. PIck-up games can also be found in settlements without gambling facilities. These tend to be more dangerous affairs and cheating is rife. To find a pick-up game in any settlement, make a BARTER check (variable difficulty). SPEECH skill can also be used to locate a game, either by the gambler or a ‘shill’ working with the gambler. Time required to find the game is based on task difficulty (.5/1/2/4 hours).
The gambler risks a specified stake per game. The min/max stake limit can range from just a few credits to many thousands in the high-end establishments like the ‘Lucky “7” Casino’ or ‘Hangar 21’ in Airfield City. Certain high-stakes private games in the big settlements may have no limit at all… Players have been known to stake weapons, rakoxen, iguanodons, gold, water, bullets…just about anything of value. Each venue or settlement has an individual maximum winnings per day, representing the total amount participants are willing or able to lose.
The gamer has a choice of applying BARTER, STEALTH or LOCKPICK skill toward the outcome of each game. The difficulty of the task check varies from EASY to VERY HARD, depending on the venue. Most established venues will be HARD or VERY HARD. In busy commercial settlements, the presence of easy marks might reduce the difficulty to AVERAGE at times. Experienced pros watch for the arrival of trade caravans or soldiers, full of easy marks. The easy pickings typically dry up fast, as the locals are quick to smell blood. Pick-up games in shantytowns, markets or dusty alleys can be the easiest to win, but come with a high chance of injury or death, particularly if accused of cheating.
WINNERS AND LOSERS
A successful skill check wins a random 1-x original credits staked. Amateurs (aka easy marks) playing without an applicable skill can win only on a 1 in d20 (5%). Failure by +50% of the skill target or more loses a random 1-n original credits staked. Example: a bounty hunter with BARTER:40 has spotted an easy mark in ‘The Thirsty Mutant’ at Spanish Fork, getting an AVERAGE difficulty game. A roll of 1-40 wins 1-x credits staked. A roll of 41-60 breaks even. 61 or higher loses 1-n credits staked. Chance of losing your stake is always at least 1% (100 on d100). Playing an AVERAGE difficulty game with a skill of >65 always results in a 1% chance of losing some of your stake. Game duration is generally 2 hours. Depending on the establishment, 1-6 games are possible per day.
Everyone is either cheating or suspected of cheating. Use of BARTER skill allows a standard chance to be caught cheating or accused of cheating. Winning by between 1 and (skill-target * .1) results in accusations of cheating by one or more players, onlookers or the establishment itself. Example: HARD game with BARTER:30. Target is 15, so 15/10=1.5, rounded up to 2. If the player wins on a 1-2 in d100, accusations of cheating fly. If the same player had a skill 80, the target is 40 and cheating accusations result on a 1-4 in d100.
Use of STEALTH or LOCKPICK skill dramatically increases chances of being caught or accused of cheating (between 1 and (skill-target * .25)). Example: HARD game with LOCKPICK:45. Target is 22, so 22*.25=5.5, rounded up to 6. If the player wins on a 1-6 in d100, accusations of cheating fly.
Pick up games DOUBLE the chances of cheating. Using your STEALTH skill to shoot craps in the back alleys of Airfield City is a good way to get maimed or killed.
The player accused of cheating can use SPEECH to try and get out of a fight (EASY if stake lt100; AVG if stake lt500; HARD if stake lt1000; VHARD for 1000 +). BARTER skill can also be used, but difficulty is raised 1 step. Succeeding by 30 points under the target turns the accusation into a joke, or against the accuser, bystander or other hapless ‘mook’. Other success results in the player being ejected from the game, but able to return to the same town or establishment on another day. Failure results in the player being run out of the venue at the very least, sometimes out of town entirely. Players can also get out of trouble by giving back all their winnings and voluntarily fleeing town, resulting in becoming a laughingstock (can’t find games in that settlement for 1-6 weeks). Otherwise there may be a fistfight, melee or even a gunfight. Pick-up games have the highest chance of ending in a fight.
Due to the possibility of mental or physical mutations used to win games, mutants are generally not welcome in established gambling venues. It may still be possible for mutants to find pick up games, but difficulty of finding such games is 1 step harder. There are exceptions to this rule such as the mutant-friendly skyship hulk city of Mount Pleasant, the extremely dangerous ‘Free Zone’ in New Salt City, and the ‘Nightside Bar & Grill’ or ‘Lucys’ venues in Airfield City. Caveat emptor: you might be competing against fellow mutants with empathy, clairvoyance, precognition, remote vision or other strange power.
Officially the Mormons issued a proscription against gambling decades ago. However this is only enforced within the Mormon Compound, less so for halfbreeds, and not at all in gambling strongholds like Airfield City and the Free Zone. The income gambling brings in is doubtless a factor, particularly in Airfield city and nearby settlements (Magna Outpost, Spanish Fork). Certain Mormon expatriates have even set up or acquired gambling operations in these settlements. The Mormon elite and clergy are never seen gambling in public.