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Old 06-02-2012, 10:32 PM   #51
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Default Re: TL4 Poker Chips

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
Well, yes but that's why I careful to say "mature technology". It's not until the 19th century that you see sophisticated commercial applications in the form of casino games like Blackjack.
Yes, but life insurance was invented as a viable commercial enterprise before 1700, and not long after the first life tables were drawn up as an intellectual curiosity.

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Old 06-03-2012, 12:25 AM   #52
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Yes, but life insurance was invented as a viable commercial enterprise before 1700, and not long after the first life tables were drawn up as an intellectual curiosity.
For that matter bookmaking also is pretty old. However I think there's a difference between descriptive statistics like that and using probability theory to invent a game that will make people think they are winning when really you are. How should I have phrased it? Blackjack, roulette and other casino games (games invented for and generally only played in casinos) are 19th century inventions (at least as far as I know).

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Old 06-03-2012, 01:04 AM   #53
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Default Re: TL4 Poker Chips

This thread made me do a little poking around in the history of probability, and while I didn't find anything relevant, I did find something amusing.

According to this article, pages 6 and 7, Galileo was once asked to analyze a dice game, and explain why some sums are more common than others. Galileo explained that the number of possible ways of ordering the results of the dice matters, and there are more ways to order the results when there are fewer repeated numbers. He wrote up his answer in a short note called Sopra Le Scoperte dei Dadi, which you can read in English translation here. (The table appears to be misformatted, however.)

The cool part? The game in question involved the sum of three six-sided dice. Forget about inventing the helicopter and the parachute and all that. Galileo Galilei was so far ahead of his time that he worked out the probability distribution for GURPS more than three centuries before it was invented.
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Old 06-03-2012, 02:49 AM   #54
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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"?
Well, probability and statistics require a bunch of arithmetic which wasn't historically invented before TL 2, and requires a notational system probably at least as strong as alphabetic writing, which again puts it at around TL 2 (advanced writing systems are a pretty fundamental feature of TL 2), but it's not obvious that the Greeks couldn't have invented at least some forms of probability (there's a lot of stuff that's hard to see being invented pre-calculus). The Greeks were certainly capable of creating a 6x6 grid, labeling each axis, filling the sums in each square, and counting, which is all you really need to for 2d6 probability, but they don't seem to have actually done so.
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Old 06-03-2012, 07:05 AM   #55
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Galileo Galilei was so far ahead of his time that he worked out the probability distribution for GURPS more than three centuries before it was invented.
He should be listed under "Additional Material by:" in the next release of the Basic Set. :-)
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Old 06-03-2012, 07:55 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
I have never heard of a Tarot-based card game.
You got that one completely backwards, tarot-card playing games existed for a very long time, the silly fortune-telling divination games along with ouija boards and such are all relatively recent innovations.

The original tarot-card playing decks were intended for games just like our current card decks.

"What is Tarot? Itís NOT what you think!"
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Old 06-03-2012, 09:22 AM   #57
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The way you phrase this is odd.
No. The way I phrase it indicates that I am a roleplayer.

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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.
I discern between decisions made by the character and decisions made by the player because I am a roleplayer. And I do want tendencies of luck to be observable in-world, by the character. I want them to be able to observe, if they are so inclined, that some characters appear to be lucky and that a few (if they encounter any) appear to be very lucky, but even more so I want luck to be observable as flavoured. And I'm perfectly allright with most characters who have some flavour of luck eventually accepting that as observable fact (except for a few who don't have luck but who are deluded and believe they do - which is a character creation decision).

But it strikes me as completey absurd that any given character can exert even a tiny degree of control over when he wants to be lucky. Normally it's not a problem to let the player decide that, instead of the character, because that keeps the roleplaying clean, but gambling and wagering is the one exception, where it has to be declared flat out illegal, to preserve roleplaying.

Also note that in Sagatafl, luck can do many things, depending on which specific luck traits the character has. A few traits modify dice rolls (one to buy re-rolls, and one to reduce the severity of Fumbles), but most work more like GURPS' Serendipity, although player-driven (not GM-driven).
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Old 06-03-2012, 09:25 AM   #58
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Default Re: TL4 Poker Chips

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Originally Posted by Hans Rancke-Madsen View Post
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?
Simple combinatorics strikes me as really easy, and obvious. For instance, to start with 2d6, just draw up set of 6x6 squares, and enumerate all the combinations and their totals.

Since I'm lazy and it won't look pretty anyway, I'll do it with 1d3 instead:
1 2 3
1 2 3 4
2 3 4 5
3 4 5 6

Do the same with 2d6, then count how many times out of 36 5 occurs. How many times 6 occurs. And so forth.

To do it with 3d6 you need six such sets of 6x6 squares, one for the third die being 1, one for the third die being 2, and so forth, for a total of 216 squares.
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Old 06-03-2012, 09:27 AM   #59
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Why? Why can't Western Europe have been "TL4/retarded in a technology"?
Western Europe was Retarded, for a long period of time, in the GURPS sense of the term.

That said, you don't need movable type to make playing cards, and it is specifically movable type that we think of when we say "printing press" and so forth. Block printing is doable at much lower TLs, and is sufficient to produce playing cards. I'm much more concerned with making the cards uniform, so that they don't function as if marked, and that's an issue of cutting them precisely, rather than a printing problme.
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Old 06-03-2012, 09:45 AM   #60
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Default Re: TL4 Poker Chips

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He should be listed under "Additional Material by:" in the next release of the Basic Set. :-)
Maybe a playtesting credit?
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