Scenario: The players are looking for information (whatever you want it to be) and the one available lead is a tiefling gambler, D’ucell Larson. Du’cell offers games of the highest stakes — souls. He is employed by the forces working against the players, and can give them them all the information they need. But first they must play a game of skill with the veteran gambler. And he never loses. The players must wager a soul (one of the players or an NPC) and sit down at the table to play a game of Dragon’s Bluff for very high stakes.
Complexity: 4 (10 successes before three failures)
Encounter Level: PC level +3
Goal: Beat the Gambler in a game of Dragon’s Bluff ( a fantasy version of poker) by robbing him of all his chips, and get the information the players are seeking.
One player is Du’cell’s opponent, but other PCs may support that character as they play Du’cell is confident in his abilities and won’t object to this. If the PCs lose, the character whose soul has been wagered instantly dissapears and reappears as a chip in Du’cell’s hand. The characters face appears on each side of the bone-white or blood-red chip, like all the other chips that Du’cell has. The chips that will be used are all from past victims of Du’cell and serve as warning to the players on how serious a threat this rogue gambler is.
A note about Du’cell’s ability. The ability is dependent upon him winning or losing a wager. The only way to get souls released from their chip imprisonment is to beat Du’cell at Dragon’s Bluff. Killing him will not release the souls. Likewise, intimidating or torturing Du’cell for his information will not work. Magically seas in his mind mean the information is only released by him losing the game.
Du’cell is always the dealer.
Starting before the first skill role, and after each success or failure thereafter, have the gambling PC and Du’cell each roll a d6. On a 1-3, the roll indicates a bad hand. A bad hand for Du’cell gives a +2 on the next success-granting skill roll. A bad hand for the PC, grants a -2 to for the next success-granting skill roll made. 4-6 represents a good hand. A favorable hand like this for Du’cell grants a -2 to the next success granting skill roll, and a good hand for the PC grants a +2 to the next success-granting skill roll. Du’ cell always adds +1 to his roll (see below). Keep Du’cell’s roll a secret.
The PC gambling can attempt to cheat after the first hand, pocketing away cards for use later. A Thievery (DC 15) roll adds a +1 to the Hand roll. Failure means the tiefling catches you in the act. Du’cell always cheats, so he always gets a +1. A Perception (hard DC +2) spots him. If Du’ cell or a PC is caught cheating, Du’cell laughs it off and re-deals. Make another roll for the Hand.
At any point, the PC may go “All-in”. If there are no failures accumulated, he can choose to automatically win the skill challenge or automatically fail based of the next skill roll. Up the difficulty of the next roll by 2, due to the increased pressure of such a risky play. If the player fails, the skill challenge is automatically lost. If he wins, he robs Du’cell of all his chips and wins the skill challenge automatically.
If the PCs have accumulated only one failure, they can have the next test be worth two failures or six successes. Add 2 to the skill roll. On failure the PCs lose automatically. If they succeed at the skill roll they earn six successes.
If the PCs have accumulated two failures, they are in too bad of shape in the game to effectively go “All-in”.
Skills Used (Success-Granting. These skills are the main skills used to score a success or failure. Aid Another may not be used on these skills)
Bluff (hard DC) : Who is trickier? For this hand, you are. One success.
Bluff(hard DC +4, maximum of three successes): You attempt to catch the Du’cell in a trap when he overplays. Counts as two successes.
Intimidate (hard DC) : You counter’s Du’cell’s wiles with hard-charging, aggressive moves and plays. One success.
Insight (hard DC): Du’cell is good at hiding his “tells”, but you’re even better at ferreting them out.
Skill Used (Supporting. These skills grant bonuses or more details to other roles. A maximum of two supporting skills can be used each hand.)
Diplomacy (moderate DC): Distract the gambler with a little banner. +1 to your next success-granting roll.
Thievery (moderate DC): A little sleight of hand goes a long way. Only the PC gambling may use this skill. Success grants a +1 to your next Bluff roll.
Perception (moderate DC): You know what kind of hand Du’cell is playing with based on what you’ve seen and formulate a strategy. +1 to your next intimidate or bluff roll.
History (hard DC, maximum of one try, successful or not): The rules and strategies of the game are implanted in your memory. +1 to all rolls for the rest of the challenge.
Religion (hard DC, moderate DC for worshippers of the Raven Queen, one success maximum): Unsure of the proper move, you pray to the gods for luck. Grant a +2 to the next Bluff, Intimidate, or Insight roll.
Insight (moderate DC, maximum of three successes): Du’cell thinks you’re a rube, so he doesn’t hide his tells as well as he should. +2 to your next success-granting insight roll.
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