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Old 06-02-2012, 11:29 AM   #31
Bruno
 
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Default Re: TL4 Poker Chips

"It seems simple now that you mention it" is generally the sign of a REALLY good idea :)
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Old 06-02-2012, 02:29 PM   #32
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Default Re: TL4 Poker Chips

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans Rancke-Madsen View Post
What are TL5 statistics? The kind of probability calculations you can use for dice and card gambling can be performed with a stick and a scratchable surface.
What we think of as "classical" probability didn't exist as a mature technology until the late 18th or early 19th century, as Bill points out above even Blaise Pascal had it wrong.
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Old 06-02-2012, 02:51 PM   #33
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Default Re: TL4 Poker Chips

Another thing to consider is the 'forgeability' of casino chips. Until someone came up with a way of making chips both identical and hard to copy, it was too easy for cheats to make a profits from casinos by slipping forged chips into the game or simply cash out chips that had never before seen the inside of the casino.

The way around that is to restrict selling and cashing in chips at the gaming table, so no-one is ever walking around the casino with unwatched chips. But that ruins one of the points of chips: because they are not 'real money' people are likely to be more casual at betting with them than with hard currency, and therefore the wagers will be higher. Consequently, the house wins bigger when it does win, or if it's a game where the house doesn't sometimes win the percentage they take will be more in real terms. (I confess I'm not a gambler, so I don't know how casinos make money from poker or other games where the house doesn't play a hand.)

If your casinos do not have chips that cannot be counterfeited, using real money is the only way to ensure that someone - make that 'many people' - cannot make their money that way.
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Old 06-02-2012, 03:08 PM   #34
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Default Re: TL4 Poker Chips

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
What we think of as "classical" probability didn't exist as a mature technology until the late 18th or early 19th century, as Bill points out above even Blaise Pascal had it wrong.
In an early work, though. I believe he figured it out later. And you certainly have the start of applied statistics in the late 1600s and early 1700s.

After all, Kepler initially considered and rejected the idea of elliptical planetary orbits, spent something like a year computing and recomputing, and only then figured out that the data proved the model he had rejected. These things happen early in a research program.

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Old 06-02-2012, 03:23 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
Wikipedia claims playing cards date back to the 9th century in china, which makes them firmly TL3 technology - just one that didn't make it to the West.
I would call that "TL3/advanced in a technology," myself.

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Old 06-02-2012, 03:27 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Peter Knutsen View Post
Because if characters, rather than players, decide when their luck traits are used, then that's extremely horrible metagaming. So basically any luck trait or luck trait system I design has a rule about characters acting as if they rely on being lucky in a specific instant or situation, e.g. when betting all their money on the number 27 at the roulette wheel.

I'd really like to have a luck trait specifcally for gambling in Sagatafl, but I haven't been able to find a way to make it work in a roleplaying gaing context.
I tend to like modeling luck as "roll one extra die, and throw out the worst die." I just did the math for 4d6, choose 3, and it looks as if it's close to ±2.5 to the expected roll—that is, a skill of 10.5 with luck is as good as 13 without it. It should be possible in principle to estimate a fair cost on that basis.

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Old 06-02-2012, 03:30 PM   #37
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Default Re: TL4 Poker Chips

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
I tend to like modeling luck as "roll one extra die, and throw out the worst die." I just did the math for 4d6, choose 3, and it looks as if it's close to ±2.5 to the expected roll—that is, a skill of 10.5 with luck is as good as 13 without it. It should be possible in principle to estimate a fair cost on that basis.

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That made me think of Abilities Enhancing Skills. Yes, it's a controversial idea, I know.
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Old 06-02-2012, 05:16 PM   #38
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Default Re: TL4 Poker Chips

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Knutsen View Post
Because if characters, rather than players, decide when their luck traits are used, then that's extremely horrible metagaming. So basically any luck trait or luck trait system I design has a rule about characters acting as if they rely on being lucky in a specific instant or situation, e.g. when betting all their money on the number 27 at the roulette wheel.

I'd really like to have a luck trait specifcally for gambling in Sagatafl, but I haven't been able to find a way to make it work in a roleplaying gaing context.
The way you phrase this is odd. Character's can't decide when they use their traits since, you know, they don't exist. Assuming that people don't actually have luck that they can control in the setting I suppose it makes a certain amount of sense to want players to act as if they didn't have the traits (Though then traits are required to represent the character's belief that they are lucky or unlucky.) while still benefiting from their increased luck.

Some amount of metagaming seems bound to happen based on the player's knowledge of their character's traits unless obviously the existence of their luck trait is hidden from them. That said you could minimize it by having someone else (Another player for instance.) or a die roll for eligible situation for more aspected luck choose when to use the luck ability so that all the player know is that they are more lucky in general rather than being able to be lucky at specific moments. Of course other players won't choose when the luck ability functions randomly and rolling to see if your luck goes off would be a pain for really broad luck. Not to mention that being able to modify the odds for specific rolls is generally what makes luck fun for the player and most fictional depictions of luck have characters get lucky when the stakes are high rather than at random.
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Old 06-02-2012, 07:10 PM   #39
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Default Re: TL4 Poker Chips

It's interesting to ponder the effects of introducing higher tech mathematics into lower tech societies. A general problem with introducing high tech concepts into low tech is that the high tech concepts turn out to have a lot of dependencies in order to actually make them work, but while TL 4-6 mathematics appreciates high tech paper and writing implements, it doesn't absolutely need them (TL 7+ math tends to be difficult to do without computers), and it doesn't really need much else that isn't already included in the concepts.
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Old 06-02-2012, 08:07 PM   #40
Hans Rancke-Madsen
 
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Default Re: TL4 Poker Chips

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Originally Posted by Polydamas View Post
You have to invent the field of probability and statistics first.
But is there any obstacle other than pure blind luck (pun intended) to a hypothetical genius inventing the field of probability and statistics at TL1? Is there anything you can point to and say, "you can't figure out probability until you've figured out X, and you can't figure out X until you are TL4"?

You can't build (useful) steam engines until you can make sufficiently strong metal. But what prevents anyone from figuring out probability long before someone actually did?

I know GURPS takes the historical date of an invention as proof that it couldn't have been invented earlier, but I've always been sceptical of that. Evidence, yes, but not proof. And in a lot of cases it probably a pretty good indication (Though I remain unconvinced that telescopes could not have been invented long before they were ;-) ). But not in every single case.

And, of course, GURPS tech levels pretty much ignore application TLs. You may need microscopes to figure out germ theory, but you can sterilize instruments if you can make fire. Being quite involved in Traveller, I need to deal with application TLs much more often than I need to deal with discovery TLs.

Quote:
Basically, that was a western European thing around 1700. For a parallel, consider Newtonian kinematics. At TL 8 anyone with IQ 10+ and a year of calculus can derive all the equations from first principles on one sheet of paper, but when Newton first invented them it took months of work by a genius!

The classic paper was by Christian Huigens de ratiociniis in ludo aleae (1657) but until the 18th century there were only a handful of other papers.

Today any elementary school student has repeatedly rolled 2d6 or 3d6 and tallied the results, but there is no evidence of that until the 17th or 18th century.
That's history. But what about alternate history?


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