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The Luck Die - A new skill concept

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  • The Luck Die - A new skill concept

    Savage Worlds Luck Rules
    Core Idea: Luck is a new different type of skill. The luck die type is determined by the number of Bennies you currently have. With 1 Benny you have a d4 luck die, 2 Bennies d6 and so forth going up to a maximum of d12. 0 Bennies result in a d4-1. Luck is rolled when the GM calls for it. It can be used for a variety of checks for example,
    • A GM could call for a luck roll of the whole party, whoever rolls lowest (ties going to the person with the least Bennies) gets hit with the attack in situations where one person in particular wouldn't be a tactical advantage or the enemy wouldn't have a preference.
    • A luck roll could be used to determine things other skills can’t. For example, suppose a group of players need to break into a house. A luck roll could be useful to determine whether or not someone is home, or if someone starts walking their dog around the neighborhood making an obstacle for the players.
    • A luck roll can be used if a player character remembers to do something the player didn’t. For example, if a player realizes they do not have ammo for gun, a luck roll can be used to determine if the character remembered to do something the player didn’t.
    One important note about luck rolls is that the player doing the roll is a choice. A player can either choose to do the roll, or spend a Benny to automatically pass. Another aspect of the luck roll is that it is done without a wild die.

    An angle I thought of that is interesting is that the tank of a party might want to have lower Bennies so that they are favored to get hit by enemies, which also plays against Bennies being hit points.

    I am still working through this Idea, any suggestions for improvements would be greatly appreciated. My main concern regarding this rule is making players hesitant to using Bennies, but this would be a useful game tool for me to have this or something similar.


  • #2
    Interesting idea.

    What is the goal?
    What is the Luck Die supposed to accomplish?

    As written it seems to simply be a way to move random determinations from the GM side to the player side.
    It is supposed to be more than that?

    Feedback:
    Don't call it a Skill if players a) can't spend skill points on it and b) don't get a Wild Die. Check out the language for the Wealth optional rule; Wealth is not a Trait but works like a Trait.
    I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.

    Comment


    • #3
      Its mostly a way to determine a lot of things that can't be determined by a skills but for it to be based off something. I like my 3rd example and the 2nd ones the most. Rather than it seemingly really just convenient or predetermined that something bad happens to the player at a bad time they have some more direct control over it. When I GM I think its difficult to make truly random determinations, this gives a ruleset to follow it.

      But describing it as a way to have clearer rules for randomnesses is a good way to describe it. The best way to describe the luck skill I think is a catch-all skill for things more related to the world rather than the actual character actions.

      Comment


      • #4
        It seems a bit off to try representing it as a skill IMO. This seems more like something where the GM is just gonna roll when she can't decide whether to let the player have this. If anything, it would make sense as an Edge maybe, that gives a reroll on such rolls.

        But really, this is all the sort of thing that Bennies are designed for.

        GM: Wait, you never said you were packing the saw.

        Player: I didn't? Well, I think I would have.

        GM: Gonna cost you a Benny.

        ...or...

        Player: Is anyone home?

        GM: I think so, unless it's worth something to you.

        Player: (tosses a Benny)

        GM: That gets you an empty house, but no promises on when they're coming back. That would be a separate expense.

        Player: Okay, we'll take our chances on being fast.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by mrbiofan12 View Post
          Savage Worlds Luck Rules
          Core Idea: Luck is a new different type of skill. The luck die type is determined by the number of Bennies you currently have. With 1 Benny you have a d4 luck die, 2 Bennies d6 and so forth going up to a maximum of d12. 0 Bennies result in a d4-1. Luck is rolled when the GM calls for it. It can be used for a variety of checks for example,
          Let's break this down example by example.

          [*]A GM could call for a luck roll of the whole party, whoever rolls lowest (ties going to the person with the least Bennies) gets hit with the attack in situations where one person in particular wouldn't be a tactical advantage or the enemy wouldn't have a preference.
          What does advantage does your luck die system offer over the GM simply saying "everyone roll a d100" and targeting whoever rolls highest? All I can see is players being double-punished for having few bennies; by the core rules, they already have less ability to soak wounds and now thanks to your luck die system they are more likely to be attacked and wounded.

          [*]A luck roll could be used to determine things other skills can’t. For example, suppose a group of players need to break into a house. A luck roll could be useful to determine whether or not someone is home, or if someone starts walking their dog around the neighborhood making an obstacle for the players.
          I must take issue with the specific example being used; the first step to breaking into a house is determining when it is empty. If the inhabitants of the house have any sort of daily schedule, then there are time periods where someone definitely is home, time periods where someone may or may not be at home and (shut-ins and quarantines not withstanding) time periods where there is definitely no one at home. Even if the players don't care to find out, the GM should know what these times are, so this roll would only occur in three scenarios:
          • the burglars foolishly chose to invade during a time period where someone may or may not be at home
          • the burglars were forced to invade during a time period where someone may or may not be at home by some outside circumstance, such as time constraints
          • the burglars invaded during a time period where there is definitely no one at home, but the GM feels like rolling to see if someone unexpectedly comes home because of unforeseen circumstances
          The first one is just players being knuckleheads, so it's not worth talking about. The second case is a legitimate application, but what do you gain by using this luck system over just flipping a coin to determine whether or not anyone is home? Or just deciding ahead of time whether or not anyone is home/is going to come home mid-burglary? The third case is a bit worrying: the players have dodged a major obstacle through either playing smart or sheer dumb luck, and now the GM is making them roll again to see if they encounter the major obstacle anyways. It smacks of the GM wanting the players to encounter the major obstacle regardless of their luck or wits, but also wanting to blame the dice for it because he's afraid of his players getting salty at a GM fiat.

          In fact, I have to take issue with your entire notion that a "luck roll" should determine whether or not the players encounter a major obstacle, especially one that can be circumvented entirely by playing smart. Not that I'm opposed to players encountering unexpected obstacles or complications, nor am I opposed to them being generated or introduced randomly, it just that there's better ways to handle doing so. For example, you could run breaking into a house before the owner gets home as a dramatic task. Failure to complete the task in time might mean the owner comes home mid-burglary and getting a club on your action card simulates complications like a dog-walker coming by.

          There's another pressing issue: who rolls in this scenario, and in other scenarios where the luck roll affects the entire group equally? The player with the biggest luck die? The smallest? Does the whole group roll? Each answer has different consequences for gameplay, all of which could be avoided by using a simple coin flip or just having the GM decide themselves.

          [*]A luck roll can be used if a player character remembers to do something the player didn’t. For example, if a player realizes they do not have ammo for gun, a luck roll can be used to determine if the character remembered to do something the player didn’t.
          First, that sounds like a Smarts roll. Second, are we going to just ignore that player competency does not always equal character competency?

          An angle I thought of that is interesting is that the tank of a party might want to have lower Bennies so that they are favored to get hit by enemies, which also plays against Bennies being hit points.
          Except the tank needs those bennies to soak. Under your luck system, the characters most likely to be hit are also the ones least capable of taking a hit. Do you have any experience playing or running SW, or did you just read the rulebook and start white room theorycrafting?

          I am still working through this Idea, any suggestions for improvements would be greatly appreciated. My main concern regarding this rule is making players hesitant to using Bennies, but this would be a useful game tool for me to have this or something similar.
          This concern could be alleviated by tying the luck die to how many bennies the character gets at the start of each session, rather than how many bennies they have currently. Sadly, however, the rest of your system is unsalvageable.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by mrbiofan12 View Post
            Savage Worlds Luck Rules
            • A GM could call for a luck roll of the whole party, whoever rolls lowest (ties going to the person with the least Bennies) gets hit with the attack in situations where one person in particular wouldn't be a tactical advantage or the enemy wouldn't have a preference.
            • A luck roll could be used to determine things other skills can’t. For example, suppose a group of players need to break into a house. A luck roll could be useful to determine whether or not someone is home, or if someone starts walking their dog around the neighborhood making an obstacle for the players.
            • A luck roll can be used if a player character remembers to do something the player didn’t. For example, if a player realizes they do not have ammo for gun, a luck roll can be used to determine if the character remembered to do something the player didn’t.
            To be honest of these 3 examples:
            1. DM rolling one die to select a random player will be faster
            2. Whether someone is home would usually be decided in advance by the GM. For myself it would depend on the Research/Streetwise/other reconnaissance the players carried out beforehand
            3. As a referee I'd allow players to "get away with" this if it is something reasonable for their characters to do.

            It's not the worst idea I've seen but I'd stick to Luck being bennies myself

            Comment


            • #7
              While I understand what you are trying to do, I must agree with the others. Of course, if it works for you....do it. I just think that all of the reasons and uses for this "skill" that you give could be solved in so many ways that are easier than creating a new skill. Also, the more new skills we create, the more chance the players will choose skills that won't necessarily fit their character concept.

              However, I will say that arguing whether or not luck is a skill is like Deadpool telling Domino that its not a super power.

              Comment


              • ValhallaGH
                ValhallaGH commented
                Editing a comment
                I'm not arguing that it can't be a skill. I'm just arguing that this version isn't a skill.

              • VoyerX3
                VoyerX3 commented
                Editing a comment
                LOL I was not saying that you were arguing. I was just making a joke for anyone who may have seen Deadpool 2

            • #8
              This does seem to be a solution in search of a problem.

              Comment


              • #9
                Try out your ideas in play. See how it goes. Use it for multiple gaming sessions, making changes as you have observations of it working (or not?) in play. That is okay to have an idea and have to tweak it. I wish that people would do that more before publishing. "It seemed like a good idea...". That is why Pinnacle makes changes to things multiple times before going to print.

                The above are what people PREDICT will be the outcome: if it is a skill, especially a must-have, it is a skill tax where a player pays for something that they either already have (a benny) or a function of the game (GM or someone makes a random roll). However, they might very well be wrong. I once thought that Savage Worlds was too simple of a game to me. It sure LOOKS simple. And it is, but it is more fun than it looks like it would be. Maybe your idea is something super awesome.

                Comment


                • #10
                  Of course everything that people say are just suggestions. The cool thing about SW is people create their own setting/house rules all of the time.

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    I commend you for thinking of a unique new way to handle random aspects of the game, but I don't see any advantage to using a "Luck skill" over simpler methods, such as percentage rolls (2d10), coin flips (or odd/even rolls), card draws, or simply burning a Benny.

                    As someone mentioned above, another concern is relegating "smart preparation" to "dumb luck." There are certain expectations players and their characters should have, and it doesn't make a lot of sense to reduce that to a simple roll. The example of breaking into a property is one that carries plenty of expectations. Security systems, cameras, complexity of locks, building layout, occupant vacancy, vigilance /suspicion of neighbors... these are things that should be researched, not randomized.

                    Rather than itemizing each and every one of these things, try to implement abstraction into your games. The risk of a random dog-walker or nosy Nellie can be baked right into the task through Comprehensive Modifiers. A typical suburban neighborhood might be -1 or -2 to all (nefarious) rolls, while a more active suburb, or downtown district, has a higher penalty. This places an importance on having lookouts, who can provide Support rolls with Notice. Disguising themselves as a telecom repair crew (Performance) might reduce the penalty as well.

                    I'm not saying randomness doesn't have a place, I'm saying the frequency of rolling for pure randomness is rare as other mechanics provide a better experience. For that reason, a dedicated Luck die may be redundant.

                    Comment

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