14 minutes ago
Monday, March 12, 2012
Games of Chance
The new HBO series Luck is about the world of horse-racing, from the owners and trainers to the jockeys and gamblers. While the show is interesting as a drama, I think I find it even more engrossing for its portrayal of the world of racetracks. It got me to thinking about gambling, whether at the races, with dice or whatever, within the world of a a role-playing game.
Gambling seems exactly the short of pleasure-seeking activity adventurers would engage in to blow off steam between brushes with danger. I’ve seen relatively few settings tackle unique or interesting games, though. The first chapter of the Pathfinder Adventure Path The Second Darkness, “Shadow in the Sky” featured a visit to a casino and opportunities for PCs to partake in several different games, but most of them seemed a bit silly to me.
While gambling appears in a lot of the source literature for fantasy role-playing games, most are only vaguely described as anything more than “dice” or “cards.” Off hand, I can’t think of any that are well detailed. There’s Dragon Poker in Asprin’s Little Myth Marker, but from what I can recall the details given are mostly for laughs a la fizzbin.
Anybody got any interesting forms of gambling making appearances in their settings?