Sunday, June 23, 2013

New Skill for Star Wars Edge of the Empire: Knowledge (Gambling)

I'll be posting pieces of the design work for Idiot's Array as a write them.  First up, and created today for the game is a new skill Knowledge (Gambling).

My general approach on creating on new skills and mechanics for existing games is pretty conservative.  I rarely house rule for the same of house ruling something if there's an existing, working mechanic for it.  In this instance, there is no such mechanic.

In the Beta version of the rules (and a very odd omission for a game focused on Scoundrels and other Edge of the law types which Edge of the Empire is about), there is no game mechanic that addresses the knowledge of games of chance.

While such things as bluffing, picking up on an opponent's tell, creating electronic or other cheats, etc. can be easily covered by the game's core skills, there is no mechanic that says, I know the rules, and have instinctive feel for what the odds of winning a sabacc round with a particular hand are.  For this reason, I've invented the following:

Knowledge (Gambling) (Int):

You are familiar with the rules, and more importantly, the strategy and odds of winning and losing in most games of chance.

Note that Gambling will do nothing towards helping you with gaining a psychological or mathematical edge in games of chance where such elements in a particular game of chance may be present.  This better lies in the domain of other skills, depending on what the character is trying to do (e.g. Coercion, Cool, Discipline, Negotiation, Perception, Skulduggery, Streetwise, etc).

This skill is available as a Class Non-Career skill to all Edge of the Empire character classes Careers, as gambling and games of chance are a large form of entertainment in the rougher edges of the galaxy.
If I were writing this for official publication, I'd probably want to think on that third paragraph a bit, but the truth is, we've seen scenarios, stories, and novels where characters from a variety of walks of life gamble, so I didn't really see putting restrictions on the character classes this was available to.  If a character wants to spend one of their precious skill points on Knowledge (Gambling), I think they should be able to do it.

Needless to say, this skill will be available to some (but not all) of the characters and NPCs in the game.

EDIT: Groan.  Still trying to Use Star Wars Saga Edition terminology with Edge of the Empire.  I should be able to break myself of the habit in about another decade.

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