Monday, June 13, 2011

Dead Simple Lock & Trap Mini-game Report

Back in April I posted rules for a Dead Simple Lock & Trap Mini-game.  This was created with help from - oh - just about everybody in the community.  I must say, it's working great.  The Boy is loving it.  Whenever there is a lock or trap, I start shuffling the deck of cards and he runs around the table and stands next to me, making his guesses and wanting to see the cards first hand as I reveal them.

The other players seem to enjoy watching - but I was surprised that one player reported using the mini-game in the rpgs he runs as well.  He said he used it for Pathfinder and it was a hit.  But even more surprising, he started using it in his Shadowrun flavored Savage Worlds games as well, to handle cyber-intrusion.  Seems like it works good for any time you need to create a little more tension than just a flat die-roll, but not take too long.

One little problem I have is that the Boy tends to do a bit better than he should statistically.  Whether he is psychic or not is up in the air, but I'd say that the chance that he is reading his old man's unconscious cues is much more likely. :)

I'm impressed how fun the simple little thing is.  Go ahead - give it a whirl.  It won't bite. 


- Ark


  1. I really like this system. I might change it a little though. I'll have to crunch the numbers, but I feel like I want to add an element or two besides just matching the suits.

    *Maybe the thief fails if they match the suit OR the card value. So, a lock with the queen of spades jams on any spade or a queen of any suit.

    *Instead of giving the thief access to the whole deck, they are dealt a number of cards and have to make their choices from those. The number of cards they are dealt is or equal to their number of picks or tools, 10 cards max.

    *Wild cards (two values chosen by the player, like 2s and Qs) that do things like bend or break tools.

    Anyhow, I love this system, it is super versatile.

  2. Let me edit that first one

    *If the card flipped matches either the suit or value, then the lock is jammed. However, if the player calls a card perfectly (matching suit AND value) then the lock opens immediately.

    thanks :-)

  3. They need to make cards like that!

  4. Added to Links to Wisdom under thief skills.

  5. @Quibish - Thanks for the kind words. There is plenty of room for improvement and tinkering to fit lots of different tastes. My objective was to make it simple as possible to that *I* could remember the rules without how to look them up. :)

    I like that 'guess the suit and value and win a prize' idea. Hmm. Will have to tinker with that. The boy would love it.

    @Zombie - They DO make cards like that! --->

    @Jovial - Yeah! I'm officially wise! Thanks. ;)

    - Ark