Posted on November 3, 2018
Home brew progress 1
Oof. “Keep the Huckster’s deck mechanics” I thought to myself. “It’ll be fun.” I thought. Oh boy, was I wrong. I do not have the head for that kind of mathematics.
My draft for the Warrior Type: Fightin’ Man, (which may get changed to Fightin’ Feller, I haven’t decided yet. Woman or Gal if you’re character is of that persuasion. Maybe Fightin’ Sort is the best) was easy peasy. It’s mostly how you would like to hit things and how often. Still interesting, but not complicated. The only thing that required substantial changes was the armor proficiencies, which I decided to change to riding proficiencies and got me thinking about modifiers based on how fast you’re hurtlin’ across the high chaparral.
When I got to Arcanist, which is going to be the basis of the Adept Type for Hucksters, Divines, and Shamans, I was determined to have Hucksters use card decks for their Magics. I was not ready for poker probabilities, much less probabilities that include Jokers wild and variable hand sizes.
Regular old cypher system wizards cast their spells against their victims using their victims ( level x3) as their target on a d20. 2nd level mook, roll a 6 or better. Easy. It also means that level 7 stuff is untouchable without easing the test somehow, with assets or training or whatever.
By using the old Deadlands hierarchy of poker hands, they can fit into that one to ten level range. But they don’t fit well. At the lowest end of the scale, to overcome a level 1 victim with a die, you have an 90% chance of getting 3 or higher. Casting against a Level 6 victim means you have a 15% chance base. Level 7 is out of the question without some sort of assistance or easing.
But with cards, you have a 58% chance of getting a Pair OR BETTER (enough to overcome a Level 2 Mook) when drawing 5 cards (with Jokers Wild) as far as I can tell. That’s a considerable drop off from 75% that you’d have when you roll a die.
If a Straight is used for a level 5-beater, it’s chance is 1.4% as opposed to a 30% chance with the die.
So that blows.
I have to look at what Easing means with card spells. Does it get you an extra card (not statistically as awesome as you’d imagine) or does it make the test easier?
Or, given the difficulty with Poker, do I abandon that and go with Blackjack? One card face down, one face up; player decides whether or not to spend Effort to buy more cards. Go Bust = rolling a one. Failing to make the target number, just a simple failure. You can naturally beat a Level 7 target, which is better than a die roll. But the possible results aren’t going to be a nice diagonal on a graph like die rolls.
Hmm, more to ponder.