I am working on a Gambler option for my Wild West campaign, and I started with an idea for a Rogue archetype, but then I worked toward a Prestige Class. That way it could be an option for any class that meets the Prestige Class’s requirements, and be useful outside of my campaign for other people. These are my first notes on building the Gambler, and I began with a few requirements, and then the core mechanic of Gambler’s Luck. Let me know what you think.
Dexterity: > 14
Charisma: > 12
Skill proficiency: Tool (any gambling set)
As a Gambler, you gain the following class features:
Hit Dice: 1d6 (or 4) per Gambler Level
Hit Points per Level: 1d6 (or 4) + your Constitution modifier per Gambler level
Saving Throws. None
Skills. additional Tool (gambling set)
Starting at 1st Level, each day a Gambler starts their day by determining their pool of luck. They gain good or bad luck, and they both have the same chance to occur. Also, the gambler can go on a streak of luck that is hard to break. Bad or Good luck seems to perpetuate itself and causes either misfortune or blessings to continue. To simulate this chance of fate, the gambler rolls a d20 die after a long rest, and can choose whether to risk a roll after a short rest. He then compares the result to the following table:
|Result||d20 result ± d6||Luck Pool|
|Good Luck||10 or greater||+ 1|
|Bad Luck||Less than 10||– 1|
Whenever the Gambler gets a result of Good luck, then he gains 1 to his luck pool. The opposite is true for a result of Bad Luck, and the gambler subtracts 1 from his luck pool. So it is possible that a Gambler will start fresh, and will have a luck pool of zero.
I did talk about streaks of luck. I thought about using a bunch of d6s for each point in the Gambler’s Luck Pool, but that might be cumbersome and difficult to break a bad luck streak. So for now the mechanic is simplified so that a single a d6 is added or subtracted from the d20 if the Gambler based on their luck pool. A Positive luck pool results in a d6 being added, and a Negative luck pool results in a d6 being subtracted, while a Zero luck pool gives no bonus to the luck check. With a zero luck pool, there is still a higher chance for a result of Good luck with 55% versus a 45% chance for Bad luck to occur each day. Here is how I envision it currently working:
A Gambler has a current luck pool of 5. The luck pool is positive, so the Gambler is in a Good Luck state. After a long rest, he must roll a d20, and d6 dice together. The dice are rolled and show a 5 on the d20, and 4 on the 5 six sided dice. The 5 and 4 are added together and compared to the table and gives a Bad Luck result. The gambler now starts to falls into bad luck and reduces his Luck Pool of 4.
That’s the base mechanic of the Gambler Prestige class, but what does the Gambler’s Luck really do? The Gambler’s Luck pool will feed the Gambler’s special abilities. That will require using up their luck until they are at zero, which could cause them to fall into a bad luck state. So keeping a positive reserve is a wise move for the Gambler, but in desperate times, the Gambler could choose to go into bad luck state by continuing to tap into their luck pool.
The balance will need to come to make Bad Luck not be so awful, that the player is compelled to stay in their room sleeping until they get back into a Good Luck state. I am thinking that Bad Luck could be imposed on enemies, while Good Luck reaps benefits for themselves and friends. Or just have it have a minimum based on the level of the Gambler. So maybe a 1st level gambler has a -2, and that changes as the Gambler levels up to be a luck pool floor of zero. It’s all a work in progress, so it will definitely change as I continue to work on it.
Further Thoughts about building this prestige class:
Deck of Cards
And a gambler needs a magic deck of cards. Right? This is D&D after all, but I haven’t worked out the mechanics for this yet, mainly because there are two aspects I am working towards.
- I don’t want them to be over-powered. But I am thinking it will work by being empowered by the Gambler’s current Boon or Bane Pool.
- Also, I want it to be useful, so there isn’t a player that sits at the table fiddling with a deck of cards without being able to use them regularly.
So if you have any ideas, please throw it out there.