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Old 10-12-2019, 05:56 AM   #21
Daigoro
 
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Default Re: "Could be worse" advantage

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Originally Posted by WaterAndWindSpirit View Post
3) The way out of the area is dangerous John Doe fails his check to notice an IED. Roll damage, John Doe is at -3(max HP). No way he would make it.
4) John Doe uses his discount Serendipity to avoid the IED putting him in a coma.
5) John Doe caught a lucky break, thus he is alive, lightly injured (1D worth of injury)
The fluff described sounds like Serendipity is a good match, but I think this example is where it breaks from RAW. I don't think Serendipity lets you *undo* damage already taken or bad rolls already made. For retroactive situations, you would need Super Luck with Alter Reality (Powers p80), or at least co-opt that enhancement to use with Serendipity.
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Old 10-12-2019, 07:51 AM   #22
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Default Re: "Could be worse" advantage

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Originally Posted by Antiquation! View Post
IMO these seem to be aspected Impulse Point uses more than Serendipity. But if I squint a little, I could see it going either way (or both).
I second the use of Impulse Buys points for this. Specifically points set aside for Flesh Wounds, where the first example is concerned.

I'd use the "Action Point" variant, with a set number of points that refresh every session, probably 5 points, which can be used to turn critical failures into failures, failures into successes by 0, reduce all damage taken to 1 ("'tis just a flesh wound!" says the Black Knight as he looks at his arm laying on the ground).
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Old 10-12-2019, 07:54 AM   #23
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Default Re: "Could be worse" advantage

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Originally Posted by Daigoro View Post
The fluff described sounds like Serendipity is a good match, but I think this example is where it breaks from RAW. I don't think Serendipity lets you *undo* damage already taken or bad rolls already made. For retroactive situations, you would need Super Luck with Alter Reality (Powers p80), or at least co-opt that enhancement to use with Serendipity.
Agreed. The Serendipity would need to be used when the explosive detonates, before damage is rolled. Normal Serendipity might be able to claim the grenade is a dud, or put something between it and Mr Doe (perhaps it conveniently falls into a foxhole), while the Could Be Worse variant shields Mr Doe from the worst of it, but his gear gets no such protection.
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Old 10-12-2019, 09:27 AM   #24
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Default Re: "Could be worse" advantage

It seems like some posters are overlooking the fact that Serendipity is not an active or deliberate choice available to the player. You get "a" lucky break, not 'the' lucky break you need in your opinion. IMO it should cost +50% Cosmic to put it under the control of the player the way Luck is.

Furthermore, even if the GM is inclined to let the player decide when to use it, Serendipity is not written to provide a complete solution to any given circumstance, so there is no Limitation value in adding that element.
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Old 10-12-2019, 09:45 AM   #25
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Default Re: "Could be worse" advantage

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It seems like some posters are overlooking the fact that Serendipity is not an active or deliberate choice available to the player. You get "a" lucky break, not 'the' lucky break you need in your opinion. IMO it should cost +50% Cosmic to put it under the control of the player the way Luck is.
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Old 10-12-2019, 11:47 AM   #26
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Default Re: "Could be worse" advantage

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It seems like some posters are overlooking the fact that Serendipity is not an active or deliberate choice available to the player.
Ahem:

"You are free to suggest serendipitous occurrences to the GM, but he gets the final say."

Also, I'd bet that most us GMs that are 'ruling' that Serendipity is Player 'controlled' are simply off-loading the task of paying attention to the Player's Advantages completely to the Player to reduce GM overhead. That is rather my reasoning behind being fine with the Player pretty much always suggesting when Serendipity gets used. They paid for it, they get to use it.

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Furthermore, even if the GM is inclined to let the player decide when to use it, Serendipity is not written to provide a complete solution to any given circumstance, so there is no Limitation value in adding that element.
Sure there is. For instance I never allow Serendipity to be a "free gimme", but a rather circumstance shift to allow a roll to 'get them out of or decrease trouble'. Or, in 'Serendipity situations' where they are already getting a roll, a use of Serendipity gives them a maximum roll (Frex if faced with a Scavenging roll for find rations and water).*

So in the OP's first example where Doe faces an IED (and couldn't Dive out of the blast radius), the Player could suggest that he be allowed a "Dive for Cover" Dodge behind some cover, despite there not having been cover described in the scene as long as it makes sense for cover to have been present, just undescribed† (like a low ditch, using his gear as cover, etc). So in this case, a successful Dodge would completely mitigate the IED damage.

However, with the Limitation, the Player is accepting that even a successful Dodge will impart some heavy penalty, in this case the Player argues for "gear damaged/destroyed" and the GM agrees that their pack takes the hit (maybe it's sticking up over the cover, or Doe drops it from his hand during the dive for cover, or a successful Dodge means he places the pack completely between himself and uses it for cover‡).

Basically, with the Limitation while the PC is getting a 'lucky break', there will always be a problem with this serendipitous occasion.


* And I have no idea where I picked this up, I strongly suspect it's in Power-Ups 5 Impulse Buys or maybe from PKitty or After the End.

[EDIT]
Or possibly I simply interpreted it from the various ways in which Serendipity shows up being used in AtE. I just read PU5 and AtE and there is no discussion of giving or mitigating rolls, but it's heavily implied in AtE 2's usage in the rules.
[/EDIT]

† Where as if the scene was described as flat and featureless, Doe's Player is out of Luck Serendipity.

‡ This last one has happened in real life. A British soldier in Afghanistan dove onto a grenade putting his pack on it (while still wearing it) and he escaped mostly unscathed, though his pack was destroyed. Granted, he was also wearing body armor... but still. How many can say they dove on a grenade for their mates and survived unwounded?
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Old 10-12-2019, 12:28 PM   #27
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Default Re: "Could be worse" advantage

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Originally Posted by Donny Brook View Post
It seems like some posters are overlooking the fact that Serendipity is not an active or deliberate choice available to the player. ...
Furthermore, even if the GM is inclined to let the player decide when to use it
Hmmm. I always thought that the player decides when it's used, but then it's up to the GM as to how it manifests. But reading the text now, I can see how it can be read the other way. I don't think it actually particularly supports one reading or the other, but as a general rule, using advantages is up to the player.
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Old 10-12-2019, 12:41 PM   #28
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Default Re: "Could be worse" advantage

<Moderator> This is a reminder to keep things civil. This thread seems to be heating up a bit, and that is not something to anyone's benefit.

Thank you.
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Old 10-12-2019, 01:00 PM   #29
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Default Re: "Could be worse" advantage

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Originally Posted by Daigoro View Post
Hmmm. I always thought that the player decides when it's used, but then it's up to the GM as to how it manifests. But reading the text now, I can see how it can be read the other way. I don't think it actually particularly supports one reading or the other, but as a general rule, using advantages is up to the player.
Yeah, it's clearly meant to go both ways. Both with the Player making suggested uses and the GM deciding "and here you need a moment of good fortune" and 'activating' it themselves.

I prefer to not get 'bogged down' trying to track all the PCs Advantages individually, so I leave 'usage case' Advantages up to them. With these types of "so many uses per session/hr" Advantages, I might suggest a use, but I won't force one.
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Old 10-12-2019, 01:36 PM   #30
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Default Re: "Could be worse" advantage

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Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
Ahem:
"You are free to suggest serendipitous occurrences to the GM, but he gets the final say."
Exactly my point. Serendipity is not under the control of the player the way Luck, for example, is. Accordingly to use it as the basis of this ability won't necessarily deliver what the OP is seeking.

Quote:
Also, I'd bet that most us GMs that are 'ruling' that Serendipity is Player 'controlled' are simply off-loading the task of paying attention to the Player's Advantages completely to the Player to reduce GM overhead. That is rather my reasoning behind being fine with the Player pretty much always suggesting when Serendipity gets used.
Of course you can play it whatever way you like at your table, but I think this discussion is about a generic case.

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They paid for it, they get to use it.
I don't think that is universal or determinative. Characters pay for Allies too, but the GM builds and controls them.


Quote:
Sure there is [a Limitation value]. ... Basically, with the Limitation while the PC is getting a 'lucky break', there will always be a problem with this serendipitous occasion.
It appears to me that there is an insurmountable problem of defining the borders of the Serendipitous occasion. Other than by 'feel', how do you posit what 'normal' Serendipity would provide in a given case and then how do you figure out what -20% worth of problems would be to apply?
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