I ran across gambits in the Fourthcore Armory and I really like the idea. There’s no reason these couldn’t be used in pretty much any fantasy game as they’re pretty system neutral.
Gambits provide a means to quickly incorporate such schemes into a campaign. Priced and balanced similarly to wondrous items, they stretch the boundaries of the game by giving a dungeoneer the ability to ‘rewrite’ the story to their advantage. A gambit allows a dungeoneer to field unplanned reinforcements, locate caches, commit sabotage, spread rumors, or pull a dungeon map out of his pocket.
Just as item creation condenses days of research and experimentation into a single easy mechanic, so too do gambits condense the labors of back alley deals, diplomatic negotiations, and other productive downtime tasks into a single, smooth mechanic.
I like the idea that everyone has something they can do during downtime. Gambits really ring true to me in a roleplaying sense – of course if you have huge amounts of loot to toss around you’re going to pick up friends in high places, subvert an enemy, become a valuable ally of a sect, or have a getaway vehicle stashed for when things go wrong.
I would love to see a lot more of these.