Rolls the Dice

Published December 26, 2013 by

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You’re a chancer. You’re wrapped up in probabilities and random events, obsessing over systems for prediction and ways of gaming the system. Most of all though, you enjoy the thrill of it, something deep within you yearns for fluctuation of quantum probabilities, the collapse of super-positions into known states. Your favourite choice is a 50/50 split and your pet is Schrodinger’s cat. You gamble and take risks like a man breathes air and while you don’t always come out on top, you have one hell of a ride getting there.

Jacks in particular favour this focus with their often happy-go-lucky attitude.


GM Intrusion: Fate is not on yours to command today. The GM rolls a d20. On your next d20 roll, use the GMs value if it is worse.


Pick a PC at random (use a die roll), then have them roll a die. On an even number you cheated them in a card game and they lost all their shins to you. They start with no shins, you start with your own plus the shins they would have had. On an odd number, you lost everything to them and they start with their own shins plus those you would have started with.

Additional Equipment:

1 additional oddity which is your ‘lucky’ charm

Minor Effect Suggestions:
Roll a die. On an even number, you trigger a GM intrusion which rewards no XP and cannot refuse it. On an odd number you trigger a GM intrusion which does reward XP and can refuse it for free
Major Effect Suggestions:
Roll a d20. On a twenty, gain 1 XP
Tier 1:

Chancer’s Blow (1 Speed)

You try your luck and hurl yourself wildly at an opponent, attacking without any plan or specific target in mind and just letting the attack fall where it may. On a successful attack, you deal your normal damage and roll a die. On evens your crazy attack hits a vital area, inflicting an additional 2 points of damage as you get a critical blow. On odds, you take 2 damage as you throw yourself on their weapons or injure yourself with your wild flailing. Enabler.

Coin Flip:

When a GM intrusion occurs against you that is not triggered by a minor or major effect, you can choose to roll a die. On evens, you can avoid the intrusion without paying the XP cost. On odds, you must accept the intrusion and get no XP for it. Enabler.

Tier 2:

Lucky Dip (3 Int)

By spending 3 Int, you can state that a cypher you have is actually a different one – by sheer luck you misidentified it. Re-roll on the cypher tables. Can only be used once per cypher. Enabler.

Tier 3:

Money For Nothing

Your gambling has paid off and you come into a windfall of 3d100 shins. Enabler.

On the Nose (3 Might)

You throw everything into your attack because you’re betting that this is going to be the deciding blow and it’s going to be in your favour. Luckily, you’re right on the money. Deals an additional 2 points of damage and if your attack roll is even, stuns the opponent until the end of their next turn. Action.

Tier 4:

Shortening the Odds (4 Int)

When the deck is stacked against you, you have a way of putting the odds back in your favour. If you fail to beat a difficulty check, you can spend 4 Int to roll 1d6 and add that to your roll. However, if you roll a 1, you trigger a GM intrusion that rewards no XP. You can only use this once per difficulty check. Enabler.

Tier 5:

Predicting the Future (7 Int)

Fate is yours to command. You peer into your own future and bend probability to your whims. Roll 5d20. Record the values. The next 5 rolls you are required to make, choose from and cross off one of your recorded rolls.

Tier 6:

Fool or Fate (8 Int)

Through blind luck, things sometimes end up just perfect. On the other hand, sometimes things couldn’t get any worse.

Roll a die. On odds something goes perfect – perhaps you find the escape route or the enemy fighting you has a sudden heart attack and dies. Maybe you find you actually do have just enough to afford that item or you happen to look just like the princes long-lost brother. Either way, it’s a major bonus to you and perhaps the whole party with lasting, positive consequences.

However, on even rolls, the worst of the worst happens. Your cypher backfires, causing a harmful effect, the prince remembers that time you trounced him in a came of cards and embarrassed him in front of his court. Maybe rocks fall and trap you in that underground mine. Maybe an intestinal parasite suddenly reveals itself, bursting from your belly and permanently damaging your might pool. Whatever the effect, the problems are long-lasting and unlike an intrusion reward no XP.

5 thoughts on “Rolls the Dice

  1. Ryan Chaddock says:

    This is really good! The only thing that looks odd is the first tier Chancer’s Blow power. As written it seems to allow you to hit anything, no matter how difficult, on a 50% roll, with bonus damage to boot. That’s really good when up against powerful enemies and it leaves a lot of questions (can you spend Effort for extra damage, for instance). If that’s not what you intended, I’d change it to an “Enabler once per turn max” that enhances an attack.

    1. Ahh, quite right, that does read oddly. The intention was that it was more an enabler, yes, that on a successful attack roll, in addition to the normal damage you might otherwise do, you have a 50/50 chance of inflicting an additional 2 damage or suffering 2 damage. I’ll reword accordingly.

  2. Tyler Carlsen says:

    Missed a perfect opportunity to call an ability: “What are the odds” that has to do with rolling odd numbers.

  3. tygertyger says:

    Money For Nothing needs a statement of how often it can be used. Once a day? Week? Month? One time ever? That needs to be specified.

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