Friday, July 15, 2016

Dead Mans Hand (gambling in game)

Years back Nick(host) and his friend also named Nick designed a system for playing poker in game. the system was Dungeons and Dragons 3.5. It was great to keep it realistic, be able to use real cards, yet be quick and allow it to be designed based off of the characters statistics.

Not long ago Nick (host) remastered the system intended for use with Pathfinder, and submitted it to the latest Wayfinder Magazine: Issue #15 based on the River Kingdoms.

While out of over 200 submissions, it may have been hard to fit an oddball little gambling submission into the magazine, however that doesn't mean we cannot let you see what we submitted and use it for your own game. Who knows, maybe one of our guests past or future will help us get it into Paizo's official hands and see what happens. ;-)



Most in Golarion believe that the card game known as Dead Man’s Hand began in the Inner Sea. Truth be told is that smugglers, and merchants alike, established the game sometime in the Age of Enthronement near the city of Heibarr. Some scholars speculate this was in order to afford the toll to pass under the bridge formed in 4434 AR. However, there is some evidence that the game existed before then.

Merchants and sailors enjoyed the game because cheating was part of the rules. With cheating as part of the core game, there was little to no violence or anger when cheating would occur. The game grew in popularity and, eventually, was one of the few forms of gambling allowed by pirate ship captains throughout Golarion. From its beginning, Dead Man’s Hand was spread quickly by river folk, merchants, pirates, smugglers, and even common folk. While different strategies and versions of the game have formed and changed throughout the years, the base rules have not. Proof again that this game is still one of the most extremely popular games among thieves, pirates, and smugglers, and to this day is the game of choice among all of the River Kingdoms.

In 4700 AR, a Chelaxian known as Morgan the White, and his men, brought a new version of the game to the River Kingdoms, which has since gained popularity. Morgan stated that this altered version was how they played the game on the open seas. He called it the Captain’s Hand. He explained that the only way many captains would allow the game to be played during open voyage was by using these rules: the captain was always the dealer, the crew only has two cards, and the captain has five cards. However, the captain is always the winner because he takes the best hand he can make out of one of his crew’s two card hands. The chosen hand gets the money and the captain is declared the winner. Morgan explained that the term “captain” is just a name for the dealer. The best five card hand mix of the captain’s hand and a player’s hand is the true winner.

Most of what he explained when arriving to the River Kingdoms was true, as this was the most modified version of the game that exists. However, this version is usually only played among sailors of ships captained with heavy tradition.

Dead Man's Hand
(the term "player" refers to each PC or NPC participating)

Step One
Five cards are dealt to each player. A player has the option to choose to receive only 4 cards and use Intimidate or Diplomacy on an opponent (use the Intimidate: Demoralize rules in the Core Rulebook the for either skill) and the effects last only for that one hand. Using the basic 5 card draw poker concept, the players make bets and raises. All players roll Profession (gambling) and ties go to the player with the highest Wisdom score. Keep track of totals and the winner of the roll gets 1 extra card. Each player removes all cards they do not want to keep.

Step Two

Starting with the lowest Profession (Gambling) roll from earlier and moving up the list, each player must choose, aloud, one option from each of the following two categories to roll:

Offense: Bluff or Sleight of Hand
Defense: Sense Motive or Perception

Comparing Rolls

Offense  Defense Result
Bluff Sense Motive Highest Roll +1 card
Bluff Perception Both +1 Card
Sleight of Hand Sense Motive Both +1 Card
Sleight of Hand Perception Highest Roll +1 card

Players first receive new cards to replace the ones they removed. Then, each player compares their rolls to each other player. Each different opponent the player successfully trumps with his rolls, receives 1 extra card to add to their hand. If the skills are not comparable then they both gain an extra card. Players place their final bets on the final hand.

Step Three

Players reveal the best hand that they can make out of 5 cards. Best hand wins.

Gentlemen's Hand         
Gentlemen’s Hand is played exactly the same as above but anyone caught cheating automatically loses. Any additional circumstantial fallouts must ensue.

Captain’s Hand
captain’s hand uses similar rules to Texas Hold’em. Each player receives two cards to start. (Same intimidation rules) and betting occurs. Then the captain’s 5 card hand is played. Players roll their skills and receive their extra cards. Best 5 cards from your hand and captain’s Hand wins.

Modifications of the games can also be done with the use of wild cards.

These rules can also be used for strategy games such as Chess or other Military type games by still using cards, but replacing Profession (Gambling) with Profession (Soldier). 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

EP 37 The Awakened II

A new and great episode is up for you all. This time we have 4 men join Nick to talk about the book "The Awakened II" (The Awakened II - Kickstarter Link)

We chat about their project, the book, what is in it. We get a little sneak peak at some of the characters by their authors, Hal Greenberg, Kevin Glusing, Doug Herring, and Richard Lee Byers!

The story of how the Anthology came to be and all the cool stuff they have planned down the road. There are a ton of great names attached to this project and you should totally go back it and try to get yourself some swag off of this guaranteed (by me at least) Kickstarter.

Doug's Mysticeye Board Game Site
Doug's YouTube Channel

Samurai Sheepdog 

EP 37 - The Awakened II (right click save as to download)

Saturday, July 2, 2016

EP 36 - Established Facts After Dark

New Episode is up. Adam goes to a poorly named but crowded convention and meets up with the people from the Established Facts Podcast! They call it after Dark because the established facts is not a mature content podcast, and here they get to let loose. It is a lot of fun, sorry for some of the audio issues as Nick wasn't thee to micromanage... including micromanaging Adams poor/lack of editing.

Which makes it all Nicks fault.. even though he wasn't even there.

Enjoy the show.

E36 Established Facts After Dark

The Established Facts Podcast - Website

Friday, July 1, 2016

Oddly Normal

For my part time job, I work at a comic book and game store. I did not grow up reading comics and until about a year ago, I never collected single issues*. In the industry, I had spent the past 4 years being a “trade waiter” (someone who waits until comics are published as collections). I had picked this one up as a gift for a distant relative that I never ended up giving, so it got added to my pile of things to read.

Oddly Normal is the tale of a young girl named Oddly Normal. Her father is a human and her mother is a witch from the magical world Fignation. Which puts Oddly in a tough spot as she is not a full witch and not a full human. Fitting in is hard when you are a kid, let alone when you feel like you don’t belong because of your family and you feel like your parents don’t understand you.  

This is a charming little story. It is now in 3 published volumes and all are as good as the first. The art is cute, vibrant, consistent between books, and I think it would have been fun to read as a kid. Otis does a great job showing conflict in a way that children can understand and learn from with themes of perseverance, friendship, and acceptance building through the three books. The language is probably at the reading level of late elementary school grades, but he does challenge the reader with some, probably new to them, words. The great part of challenging words and vocabulary is that the pictures help to convey the meaning. If you live in MN, keep your eyes peeled for a signing with Otis at your local comic store.

*  Side note about comic books:
If you love, or even like, a comic book, subscribe to it and buy it at your local comic shop (LCS). Comic publishers, especially smaller publishers, continue to make your favorite comics based on sales of single issues, not trade paperbacks (when 5-6 single issues are collected into a book that actually looks nice on a bookshelf). Comic book stores have to order comics months before they are actually published and having subscribers means that they order more accurately and consistently, which in turn means that a publisher knows that they can have a more accurate original print run. IF, and this is a thin if, a comic has a second printing, this is quite expensive for publisher and they tend to not do this. So, to continue reading comic stories that you enjoy, to support the artists you like, and to support a locally owned business in your community, get into the comic book world. You can thank me later.  

Oddly Normal Vol. 1
Comic Shop Locator