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Max Outrider

Gambling Odds

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Help! I am terrible at coming up with odds. I am not a gambler and have had next to nothing to do with that world to call upon for help as a GM. It is my biggest failing for any game that involves placing odds.

I am running Mask of the Pirate Queen. It is the fight on Ord Mantell and a player is competing. The team wants to bet on the player.

What odds would you give? Meta gaming you know the player has a good chance of winning. But, the ring master sees a nobody with an outward appearance of someone who isn't much of a fighter. The first fight is against a veteran, but they are decidedly average. What odds should I have given? I gave 3:4.

Second fight is against the rising star and the current favourite to go on to the finals and win. Compared to this person the player is a nothing. They happened to survive their first fight but gained a critical in the process. Everyone is certain the NPC will win. What odds should I have given? I gave 1:10.

In both cases I used odds from an in-game point of view and got shafted as the players inevitably win. This happened almost exactly a year ago with the Jewel of Yavin adventure and the Cloud City Grand Prix race.

My players are now stupidly rich and I am trying to find ways to get some of that money back.

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Alas, while helpful, it doesn't assist with in-universe situations involving player characters being unknown to the organisations placing the odds. As a GM I know the player has a good chance of beating even the favourite NPC fighter, but in universe the people they interact with have no idea of their capabilities.

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Alas, while helpful, it doesn't assist with in-universe situations involving player characters being unknown to the organisations placing the odds. As a GM I know the player has a good chance of beating even the favourite NPC fighter, but in universe the people they interact with have no idea of their capabilities.

 

Any sports organization will test the people that participate in their games. This will give you the baseline for what the NPCs can expect from the character.

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The secret to this sort of thing, is not in defining the odds, it is in defining the prize.  The numbers you used were fine.  But rather than just handing the players 10X the credits they gambled you should turn it into another encounter.  Maybe the house accuses them of cheating and takes them out back to break bones.  Maybe they need to accept payment in a format they don't like (Slaves/Spice) Maybe they win fair and square but the holovid of them accepting their prize went viral and every dirty low life they ever crossed comes to collect the debt.  Bottom line there needs to be as much story involved with them collecting their "free" credits as there would be if it were the rewards at the end of a long adventure.

Edited by Ryoden

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The secret to this sort of thing, is not in defining the odds, it is in defining the prize.  The numbers you used were fine.  But rather than just handing the players 10X the credits they gambled you should turn it into another encounter.  Maybe the house accuses them of cheating and takes them out back to break bones.  Maybe they need to accept payment in a format they don't like (Slaves/Spice) Maybe they win fair and square but the holovid of them accepting their prize went viral and every dirty low life they ever crossed comes to collect the debt.  Bottom line there needs to be as much story involved with them collecting their "free" credits as there would be if it were the rewards at the end of a long adventure.

I've already started going down this route. I've sent the players an in-universe message along the lines of "I know what you did. I want 50% by sundown tomorrow, or the casino finds out."

It offers a side adventure and a potential solution. I'll be getting the team slicer to make some defensive computer checks soon as well, where other underworld types are also trying to get at the money.

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The secret to this sort of thing, is not in defining the odds, it is in defining the prize.  The numbers you used were fine.  But rather than just handing the players 10X the credits they gambled you should turn it into another encounter.  Maybe the house accuses them of cheating and takes them out back to break bones.  Maybe they need to accept payment in a format they don't like (Slaves/Spice) Maybe they win fair and square but the holovid of them accepting their prize went viral and every dirty low life they ever crossed comes to collect the debt.  Bottom line there needs to be as much story involved with them collecting their "free" credits as there would be if it were the rewards at the end of a long adventure.

I've already started going down this route. I've sent the players an in-universe message along the lines of "I know what you did. I want 50% by sundown tomorrow, or the casino finds out."

It offers a side adventure and a potential solution. I'll be getting the team slicer to make some defensive computer checks soon as well, where other underworld types are also trying to get at the money.

 

Nice.  And even better if they capitulate and give up the 50% then they start to develop the reputation of being soft or easy marks.  So many good stories to tell here.

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