By Trent

I wanted to create a game that players could use to interact with NPCs. Something to actually do when they're playing cards with the shady guy at the bar and trying to maneuver info out of him.

I wanted to create a game that players could use to interact with NPCs. Something to actually do when they're "playing cards with the shady guy at the bar and trying to maneuver info out of him." Something like "Blink" from Alustro's journals, but much more low-tech. (The planet my players are on now is not the major planet of the system, is mostly farmers and miners, and has a very low tech level). So I came up with this game based on opposed rolls. It is based on d20 rules so the VPS players will have to substitute the VPS equivalents to "Sense Motive," and "Bluff."

Disclaimer: I am not a gambler, nor a professional game maker, nor a mathmatician. I'm just playing around with this idea and would appreciate input. I have not had an oppurtunity to playtest the game more than a couple of times. Please tell me what traps you find and let me know what flaws you discover, which I'm sure there are many. I want to keep the mechanics of the game as simple as possible, it should be a diversion, not the main focus of an RP session. Also, any cool alternative names for the current game terms would be appreciated. You know, something more in the flavor of what Guilders would use. Anyhow, here is the game. If it's just a royal mess, please don't flame me. Just tell me how to correct the errors. Thanks.

The Reeve's Folly

A common card game among Guilders, Reeve's Folly is a poker-like game of bluffs and reading your opponent. The set-up in the game is a deck of cards and 3 firebirds per player. More firebirds can be used if a longer game is preferred. Markers of higher value may be used, but it is vital that both players start with an equal number of firebirds. This game is often used to settle disputes when a deck of "Blink" cards is unavailable.

Number of players: 2


Lead - The player who opens the wager. Pot - The coins wagered from both players. Pool - The coins that an individual player owns is that player's pool. Double - An action that can be taken once at any point in a hand. This action must be taken if a player cannot meet the wager presented.

Game Mechanics: For the purposes of an RP game, this card game is simulated by dice rolls.

The Rules:

1. Roll off determines who "leads" and makes the first wager, in RP description it is whoever draws high card.

2. The player "leading" makes an opposed roll of sense motive vs. bluff. The person leading then opens by making the first wager. The opening wager cannot exceed two firebirds, or two-thirds the opening pool if a game with a larger pool is being played.

3. The second player makes an opposed roll of sense motive vs. bluff. The second player must either meet the opening wager, or raise it.

4. The process continues until both wagers are equal. The hands are then shown.

The outcome of this game is determined by whichever player scored the most successes in the opposed rolls, considered in description as having a greater hand.

No folding is allowed, hence the folly. A player can choose not to raise the wager, but must meet it.

Whomever wins a hand then leads on the next hand.

Once per hand a player can choose to "double" his wager. This action puts proxy markers equal to the amount the player has invested in the pot. If this results in the wager being met, then the hands are shown. If this action raises the wager then the player who made the original wager must meet the new wager. A wager cannot be raised past the high wager after a player has used the "double" action. A player who has had the "double" action played against him must use the "double" action if he cannot make the wager based on his own pool. This effectively matches the two wagers as far as the game is concerned, but the actual values could possibly be unequal.

The game ends when one player has all the coins and the opponent is left with none. This is an all or nothing game.

Example of Play

Aden and Rob have gotten together to play Reeve's Folly. They're both entering the game with 3 firebirds apiece and Aden has a worn deck of cards. Aden wins the roll off and leads the wager. Aden rolls Sense Motive and gets a 14, Rob gets a 20 on his Bluff check. Aden cannot "read" his opponent, so chooses to wager carefully and puts a single firebird on the table. It is now Rob's turn to either meet or raise Aden's bet. Rob rolls Sense Motive and gets a 19. Aden rolls Bluff and gets a 15. Rob thinks that at this point in the game he has a better hand so meets Aden's 1 fb and raises 1 fb. It is once again Aden's turn to roll Sense Motive, he gets a 20. Rob rolls Bluff and gets a 24. Once again Aden cannot read Rob and chooses to end the hand by only meeting Rob's wager.

The GM looks at each player's scores (that he has been keeping track of ;-) ) and determines that Rob is the winner of that hand. Rob gets all 4 coins in the pot, he now has 5. Aden only has a single firebird.

Since Rob won the last hand he gets to lead this hand. Sense Motive is rolled and Rob gets an 11. Aden gets a 10 on his Bluff. Rob determines that his hand is better at this point and sets the wager at 2 fb (the highest an opening wager can be placed).

Aden does not have enough coin to physically meet Rob's wager, and must "double" on his turn. Aden puts in his last firebird, and declares that he is "doubling" which gives him one physical coin in the pot and one proxy coin. Aden then rolls his Sense Motive and gets a 14. Rob rolls his Bluff and also gets a 14. A tie is declared. Rob gets his two coins and Aden receives his lone firebird.

The result of this hand is Rob 5 Aden 1

Rob will go again as he won the hand before the tie. Rob rolls a 19 on his Sense Motive, Aden rolls a 14 on his Bluff. Rob feels his hand is better but does not want to be locked into a tie again so wagers small. One firebird is placed in the pot. Aden rolls his Sense Motive and gets a 21. Rob rolls a 20 on his Bluff. Aden feels he finally has a better hand then Rob and meets Rob's 1 fb and raises 1 fb by "doubling."

Rob rolls Sense Motive, gets a 16. Aden rolls Bluff and gets a 22. Rob can't read Aden but must meet the wager. Since a "double" has been declared, Rob cannot raise the wager. The hand ends.

Aden won the majority of opposed rolls so he gets the pot. Aden now has 3 physical fb and Rob now has 3 fb. Play continues in this manner.