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Old 10-24-2011, 11:48 AM  
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Default Re: how useful is Luck?

Originally Posted by Kale View Post

Often in a game there will be a 'make-or-break the adventure' roll [...] Without Luck, the adventure would have turned nasty for the PCs right on the spot.
That's exactly what I meant about "sniping" vital rolls. I think it's really, really nice that GURPS has a mechanic that lets the GM toss in seriously scary chokepoints that could get the PCs killed, secure in the knowledge that they have the means to push past the chokepoint . . . for a price. The price being that they've used up their insurance policy and must deal with the next bit cautiously. It keeps the campaign dramatic without making it needlessly lethal. (Frankly, if lethality is a campaign's main source of drama, then I think it has meta-game problems!)

Originally Posted by Ts_ View Post

In a gritty campaign, which your post-apocalyptic campaign could very well be, PCs often struggle to survive. That might even be the whole point of the campaign. Then it can be a very inappropriate advantage, destroying the feel of the setting.
I really don't think so. The reasons given above explain why. There is still a cost: Your insurance is gone. Now you have to be really, really careful. For one thing:

Originally Posted by DouglasCole View Post
In many genres and games, the difference between "deader than hell" and "hero of the story" is one failed defense roll, and in GURPS, you usually can't "soak" damage.
Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
Do you understand that in Gurps, a crit fail in combat (or an enemiy's crit success) is highly likely to result in character death?

This isn't about preventing amusing mishaps, It's about not replacing characters.
GURPS is one of those games where there's not only a death spiral (if you slow down, suffer DX penalties, get stunned, fall, etc., then you can rest assured that you'll get hurt again), but also a reasonable chance that any weapon blow from anyone can kill anyone else. The ablative HP hide the fact that on a 3-4, your enemy might just blow through everything you have and drop you. Unless part of the "fun" of a campaign is sitting it out or making new PCs, Luck provides insurance against those disasters. It doesn't remove the gradual erosion and grimness of prolonged exposure to combat, the elements, fatigue, and so on. And really, it's that grit that most struggle-oriented campaigns aim to emphasize – not sudden "Oh, look, you're dead!" moments. If anything, simply killing a PC and letting another step in kills the drama, whereas narrowly avoiding death thanks to Luck, only to have no Luck left for that HT roll vs. slow infection, enhances the drama.

For another:

Originally Posted by Celjabba View Post

One thing to note is that, even if it is called 'luck', it doesn't have to be the expression of luck.
It can also be seen as being very competent, either as a cinematic hero, or just as a very skilled/gifted character(especially with aspected luck).
Precisely! Luck can represent very good training for a totally realistic person. It's the "really, truly doesn't make very many mistakes because he's just that attentive" trait. Read that way, I find it suits even the most harshly realistic campaigns, as there actually are people who are trained more to avoid screwups than to be so good that they can attempt the impossible. And as this is a fatiguing level of readiness, the sporadic nature of Luck is quite apropos for such individuals.
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GURPS Line Editor, Steve Jackson Games
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