Episode 84: Cat-Based Probability Battery

This month, Roger and Mike get superstitious, and challenge each other.

We mentioned FATE 5 at the Bundle of Holding (until 2 December), Space Opera, Gahan Wilson’s mug artwork no. 1 and no. 2, GURPS Imperial Rome, a spurious explanation of the “three cigarettes” thing, Numenera (that we both forgot), Ars Magica, Warhammer 40,000, Don’t get involved in debates about the Trinity, The Laundry Files RPG, GUMSHOE and The Cthulhu Hack,

We have a tip jar (please tell us how you’d like to be acknowledged on the show).

Music by Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.com.


RIP Gahan Wilson.

The traditional explanation for the superstition about bad luck being associated with people who light 3 ciggies with one match (or, in some cases, one solitary flick of a lighter) seems a bit odd, as well: If it’s supposed to have been a war-time notion that an enemy sniper would notice the first cigarette being lit, take aim at the second, and then finally fire at the third… What’s to stop the sniper from firing after the second cigarette? He’s apparently already taken aim, so he might as well take a pot shot at you, whether or not you’re igniting any more tobacco.

Something about ranging, supposedly, but if you’ve just got a single point of light you don’t have a range anyway.

The way I was told it was that it was simply a matter of duration. Lighting three cigarettes supposedly took long enough that a sniper or machine-gunner could notice the light of the match, bring his weapon to bear, aim, and fire. It’s not the three cigarettes, it’s the match burning for ten seconds or whatever. Or so I was told.