I fully expected this one to be difficult. It was expected by my audience of one to be the most awesome, so yes, bar was set a bit high. I wasn’t even going to start yesterday. Technically, I finished yesterday, but then I’d have to write something else for today. And we made plans to see a movie.
For some reason, I thought that gambling had its own system. But when I flipped through the book seeking knowledge of gambling, nothing came. So I was at a standstill for a while, until discussion gave us a gambling system of our own.
There are not a lot of rolls in Arete’s encounter, so I’ll spend most of this recap going over my gambling system.
It looks like it’s really just supposed to be a skill check. Which is not what I wanted at all. So we came up with some mechanics for it, which I dressed up with a name and terms. The mechanics are simple–3 black dice for the difficulty level, and Gambling + Wits. Number of successes define the quality of the win. Two successes is the minimum for a good roll.
If the the player has Addiction (Gambling) as a Complication, they must occasionally make a successful Resolve roll to be able to stop playing.
Arete does have that complication, however, she did not play long enough to have to make that check, and the end of her gambling session was due to an external force stronger than her addiction. She did have to roll an Act 3 + Presence 3 to retain her composure after the poor roll, with 3 successes. I find it funny that she rolled quite well in anything not to do with gambling.
Hopefully, Port of Call will come up again later, because I have a couple of different hands named. It’s not a real game, but it’s not hard to make it sound like one.
Both of her Gambling rolls were poor. Her pool was 6, 3 points each in Gambling and Wits, against the 3 black dice. The first roll, she got two successes, but one was cancelled by the black dice. I decided that because the game has a similarity to card games, she can continue gambling to build her chances back up to possibly win.
In this case, if she were to roll a single success again, that would be the pairing “spread” (like a hand in cards) to the first roll, which would be a rare/difficult way to win. She ended up getting two successes, but both of them were cancelled out by the black dice. I didn’t actually explain this when I first wrote it, but when it ended up too short, I went back and put it in. So that’s probably why I still feel compelled to explain it here.
I had decided from the outset that she would only roll two rounds of gambling, and then get into a fight. Only the reason for the fight was up to the dice. If she’d done well, she would have been accused of cheating. We got to see the awesome alternative because her gamble rolls sucked.
Combat is something I’m pretty used to now, but it always brings some surprises into the way I write each scene. In Arete’s case, she had made some pretty unlucky rolls, when I’d rather wanted her to win so that I could have her get jumped by angry gamblers. But with this one guy… She just smashed him.
I used the Pirate/Marine NPC stats from the book, which gave him 5 dice to roll against Arete’s 7. He rolled 3 successes, while she rolled 5, granting her the initiative bonus.
This gave her a combat dice pool of 8, from which she rolled an unbelievable 10 successes. It was even cooler than Anson’s 10 from a pool of 11. She rolled a one and 4 sixes, which she re-rolled to gain another six. That six re-rolled four more sixes, before ending on a three.
To make it even more spectacular, the antagonist gambler rolled a measly 2 out of his pool of 5.
Arete’s damage pool was Degree of Success 8 + Revolver 5 = 13. She rolled 8 successes, and murdered the guy. To death. His health points went from 6 to negative 2. I probably could have explored the world of saving rolls and grey dice, but this was too good not to just give her a straight, clean kill.
No idea what they’re all in for next. Probably meeting up or furthering their individual goals. Technically, Anson and Arete already know each other, and it’s not infeasible for Jess, Candle, or even Edelweiss to meet either of them or even one another. Surinder already knows Arete, so he may meet with her.
Who knows. We’ll see. I’m just glad I finally have all of these done, and kind of amazed that I finished Arete’s so quickly.