Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Gambler's Chip

The "transhuman future" has done little to impact the human nature of Gambling. While the Fall makes plenty of people strongly risk averse, in general society does little to actively discourage the occasional game of chance and skill. Legal, illegal and in-between gambling exists all across the Solar System, taking both traditional forms (sports bets, classic casino games, electronic games, etc) to new forms of games such as the incredibly complex "neopoker". Some games are cultural, others are played for their specific odds or skills. Some betting involves no "game" at all; dead pool, bets on Scum olympics, all kinds of things which rely on the skills of others. In this complex world, humans have always turned to technology to give an edge on situations beyond their control.

Gambler's Chip: Also known by nicknames of "Red Queen", "Pocket Ace" or "Skifter", this old-fashioned cyberware implant is a dedicated probability calculator armed with a small suite of data analysis and prediction software. From an age before bioware mental augmentations were common, this unit allows dedicated processing of data from sensory input (through an interface with a mesh insert or cyberbrain usually) without any conscious input and give suggestions to a user in their AR feed. Because this narrower focus is usually limited to analyzing odds and probabilities for chance - it is less complex and cheaper than Probability Mapping software (p. 156 Panopticon). It grants the user a +10 on all tests where the chip can help them predict the outcome of events, and also usually helps the user recognize dangerous outcomes, granting +1 on Initiative. [Low]

As noted above, the Gambler's Chip is from the Per-Fall time, when bioware mental augmentations like Math Boost and Eidetic Memory (p. 301 EP) were not as common or reliable to install. So, the chip comes in as a dedicated card to store and process data directly without input from the user. Such devices were banned in almost any casino, and many countries (not want to be seen as enabling a bad habit) heavily restricted or banned their installation. After the Fall, however, they've had a resurgence, not just by those with an affection for the old "chrome", but as regulations on implants grow looser over time. It is recommended, however, that one Mask (p. 148 Panopticon) such an implant before going to a reputable gaming house.

The modern Gambler's Chip is not only burned with the rules for most common games in it's memory, but is independently mesh-enabled to learn new rules and probabilities on the fly. However, the device is not infallible. It requires the user to be able to see certain information in order to best process it and generate odds, and the user must have time and concentration to observe and utilize the data it gives on their own. While a Muse can monitor chip output, this still is a singular data stream it must focus on. Additionally, without secondary implants such as Mental Speed, the chip still can require time to analyze and output data, and may lag when confronted with multiple complex calculations at once. It works best when the user has time to think about the outcomes the chip provides, not make snap decisions.

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