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Old 04-11-2017, 06:40 PM   #81
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#39): Daredevil, Luck, Super Luck

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
No, that's just wrong. That is not what "luck" means.

Being able to take advantage of random fluctuations in the environment certainly exists as a trait. It's called "intelligence" or "evolution" or "life."
Sounds like you're getting a bit hung up on a label you don't like.
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Old 04-11-2017, 06:49 PM   #82
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#39): Daredevil, Luck, Super Luck

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Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
Incidentally, I class Serendipity, prebought successes and impulse buys in with luck like advantages. For those of you that don't like Luck, do you feel the same about impulse buys? The mechanic is much the same after all, spend a meta-game resource and things go better for you for no in-world reason.
Serendipity I'm okay with. Impulse Buys I can't stand, same as how I don't like Trading Points for Money or Extra Life or in fact any treatment of my character-building currency as spending on consumables instead of upgrades.

I'd rather die as a guy with 251 points worth of awesomeness than live with 250 having spent the one point to turn a specific failure into a success the once.
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Old 04-11-2017, 07:38 PM   #83
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#39): Daredevil, Luck, Super Luck

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
On one hand, I don't care what the rest of you prefer. The question asked was, "Do you use these traits?" and only what I prefer is relevant to answering that.
Alright, no one is saying that you need to like it. We are just explaining why the trait makes sense, but personal opinion remains a personal choice.

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
On the other hand, I think a measure of probability distortion is already built into the basic game mechanics of GURPS. It works a bit like an action/adventure film where everyone is a bit luckier than people in the real world, not to mention a bit more likely to experience dramatic events. But I think that Luck is both (1) excessive and (2) undesirable as a distinctive individual trait.
I dont see it that way. Besides, if EVERYBODY in the universe have Luck... Nobody does. For example, two arms is the common for humans, so, we just "gain" two arms free of charge. Therefore, the advantage stands as something ABOVE the norm - which is why it costs points.

And... Excessive? Really? Its a barely marginal benefit which play much more on game drama than extreme munchikinism... I don't see it as a game breaking trait at all


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That applies retrospectively. There is no prospective aspect to it: The fact that you rolled a 6 three times, or thirty, says nothing about the next roll (well, unless you have a loaded d6!). Prospectively you can say that if you have a group of 216 people, and they all roll a d6 three times, one of them will get three sixes (there's a 63.3% chance of this happening); but you can't say that any single one of them will get three sixes.
And neither can you say that your Luck advantage will automaticaly reverse into incredible stunts. Hey, you may even end up with a result WORSE than before. Just like I cannot claim that Ill have 3 sixes even if I roll one million times, I also can't say that my meta game Luck will grant me the edge I seek.
Also, the advantage Luck ALSO is "perceived" in game retrospectively; your character DOESNT know that he is being Luck in ANY situation; only YOU as a player do. If you were your character and didnt know that you are just a puppet being puppeteered by some sadistic people for sport, you wouldn't think yourself "lucky" at all (unless you are superstitious), just that you have some pretty good stories, but no more extraordinary than those of a heroic sniper from special forces veteran or an old time gangster.
And do not forget, Luck inevitably dries out - so, being able to escape 100 messy situations isn't so useful if you die in the number 101
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Old 04-11-2017, 07:47 PM   #84
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#39): Daredevil, Luck, Super Luck

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
It's clear to me that Kromm and I have radically different sensibilities about gaming; to put it really simply, his preferences are more toward the cinematic end, and mine are more toward the realistic end. So most of his arguments just don't seem relevant to me.

In particular, when you quote him as saying

Obviously, a player could add modifiers that move Luck into the exotic or supernatural category: Active, Costs Fatigue, Game Time, and just about any power modifier would do this. Then all the arguments about it being a strange ability would become valid. As written, though, Luck doesn't even exist in the game world . . . it just ensures that the player gets to play a slightly more positive story role. It's basically no less cheating and no more exotic than the GM being your buddy and giving you an extra 20 points without telling the other players; it's just more honest and structured than that, to avoid hard feelings.

then I would say that the arguments about Luck being a strange ability don't concern me at all; they simply seem irrelevant, because I've decided to allow a certain kind of strange abilities. The version he says "doesn't even exist in the game world," on the other hand, just feels wrong to me. I can try to analyze why—and to look at what changes increase, or lessen, or take away the wrongness—but it's an emotional conclusion in the first place.

Perhaps part of it is that I don't want the player to get to play that more positive role. Even if they pay points for it, it isn't an interesting way for their character to be successful, and it makes the story about that character less enjoyable for me. And that probably has something to do with my having a taste for realism, and finding it more entertaining, not less, than cinematic fiction or drama.

And note that I've made an exception in the past. For example, when I ran a Buffyverse campaign, I used the Drama Points mechanic in the BtVS system; in fact I had a player who deliberately put every experience point he earned into Drama Points, and never got better at doing anything, and kept surviving by luck and coincidence. And I was fine with that, because I had chosen to emulate the Buffyverse, where things work that way. But if I'm emulating a more realistic universe, I don't want things to work that way. And in the last analysis, I think that's purely a question of taste.
Its cinematographic FOR YOU. That's not an universal opinion, and if we extrapolete the opinions in this tread (with the risk of being an imprecise estimation), it may not even be the opinion of the MAJORITY. I don't think that the advantage makes a game less realistic or more cinematographic AT ALL, as do others here too it seems. Its ok to have your opinion on the subject of course, just dont assume that because it is your opinion, it makes it TRUE.
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Old 04-11-2017, 07:54 PM   #85
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#39): Daredevil, Luck, Super Luck

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But that's completely missing the point. There is a quality in the real world called "being physically attractive," and I can choose to play someone who has that quality. There is a quality called "being rich," and one called "being physically fit," and so on. But there is no quality in the real world of "being lucky." In the real world, the belief in "luck" as an actual trait that a human being can have is what GURPS calls a Delusion.
Don't you think the children of Bill Gates are luck? You can argue that good ol' Bill is a billionaire because he worked for it, being smart/incentive. But what have their children do besides being born by the right parents?
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Old 04-11-2017, 07:55 PM   #86
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#39): Daredevil, Luck, Super Luck

It is a meta game trait primarily which is, I think, orthogonal to the cinematic-realism axis.
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Old 04-11-2017, 08:08 PM   #87
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#39): Daredevil, Luck, Super Luck

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No, that's just wrong. That is not what "luck" means.

Being able to take advantage of random fluctuations in the environment certainly exists as a trait. It's called "intelligence" or "evolution" or "life." As Pasteur said, chance favors the prepared mind. And all those things are emergent qualities that cannot be reduced to simple physical variables.

But consider a poker game. The aim of poker is to take advantage of random variation in what cards you get by an intelligent strategy that involves things such as knowing the odds of getting the card you need if you draw, or in the next deal, and knowing how to size up your fellow players' behavioral signals, and knowing how to bluff effectively. If you can do those things, you can expect to win over time.

But you can also win a particular hand, or even a string of hands, by happening to get good cards. If you get five hearts, or three fives and two jacks, you likely will do better in that hand than the more skilled player across the table. And we can imagine that a person might happen to draw good cards in a series of multiple hands.

Now, (1) getting good hands like that is not an emergent quality at all. There are attributes such as person-who-knows-the-odds or person-who-has-a-poker-face, but there is no attribute of person-who-gets-good-hands (assuming they don't have cards up their sleeve!). And (2) of those two qualities, the one we call "luck" is not the specialized emergent quality of being a good poker player; it's the particular history of getting good hands in a particular game.

Using "luck" to refer, not to having favorable random outcomes, but to having favorable outcomes that other people don't know how to reduce to something straightforwardly predictable, is an abuse of language. That was the point Rand's character was making: "You'll never be rich, because you think what I do is gambling."
Dude, you are being totally misguided here. Sure, I would rather relly on skill rather than mere luck, because, you know, luck will INEVITABLY run out, one moment or another. But you can always rely on your skills.

I would rather relly on BOTH thou, if I could. Because, no matter how skilled, you are NOT perfect, so even high skill will fail someday.

You can be the world's greatest sniper; but, perhaps, today may be the day that Fortuna will be against you.

Also, remember, even an unskilled person can land one lucky shot.

Do you HONESTLY believe that the soldiers that survive wars are the thoughest and meaniest Rambos ONLY? Do you think that only the super soldiers commandos make it?

Let me just say this: the legendary "Red Baron", the most famous airplane pilot from WWI, supposedly were responsible for shooting down hundreds of british planes.

However, he didnt make it. He were shot down and killed during the war
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Old 04-11-2017, 08:30 PM   #88
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#39): Daredevil, Luck, Super Luck

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Well, in that case, forgive me, but it seems that all this discussion of what "luck" means in the real world is just BS. I don't even see why we're talking about it. The claim that there is something peculiar about the way *I* use the word is specious; the peculiarity is in the way GURPS used the word.

And if the effect of playing GURPS by the RAW, and keeping the actual results of dice rolls, is to produce a game that, in your opinion, no one could enjoy playing, because no character could survive more than a handful of sessions, and the necessary fix is to routinely give characters Luck so that the players can reroll catastrophic outcomes . . . well, that seems to me to be saying that GURPS rules are a failure. That's what I call "published rules that make a game unplayable unless you apply a fix to work around their problems."

Now, my experience is that GURPS isn't that lethal. There are a lot of things in it that make death less likely. For example, there's the requirement of a failed HT roll to have injury actually result in death. Buy HT up to a modest 13, and you have a 50% chance of your character not dying till they get physically battered to death. Raise it higher than that, and you can take damage equal to 5x your HP (a 14d attack to center of mass) and expect not to die. Or you can leave HT lower and buy some Hard to Kill, or buy Very Fit.

The argument about the heroic marine makes sense if you envision GURPS characters as running through kill zones, and emerging unscathed on the other side, and if you plan to have your characters do that sort of thing. But in my worldview, doing that sort of thing gets you killed, and the expectation that it won't is the sort of delusion that that Chinese rebellion in the 19th century cultivated. Doing that sort of thing might be heroic, but it's not the sort of heroism you expect to survive. And so I don't run that sort of thing as "adventures." I don't think modern war makes sense as a setting for adventure stories. There are exceptions, such as World War I pilot duels or special ops missions behind enemy lines; but being on the front lines in World War II wasn't adventurous.

I run mostly campaigns with fantastic elements that protect against the realistic effects of combat in terms that are defined in the world; or campaigns that are simply low on combat; or, occasionally, campaigns that involve smaller-scale and less intense violence, such as my campaign about French fencing students, where "first blood" was the usual custom in a duel. All of those are options that work while staying fairly near the realistic end of the spectrum, which is what I personally prefer for the most part. If you prefer the cinematic end, that's an equally legitimate taste; it's just not mine.

Edit: But you know, I'm wondering: Seriously, would any of you guys set out to play in a campaign that involved the kind of activities this Dan Daly fellow lived through, and think that was "adventure"? Or is this just a thought experiment? You seem to think a statistically accurate model of this would be to have a PC die every three sessions, which seems to imply about a 5% death rate for every span of time represented by a single RPG session; that seems like it could amount to an insanely high death rate, not to mention the accompanying crippling injuries, mental breakdowns, and simple wounds.
I see. So, you simply don't play "realism". And no, you don't need to be a veteran soldier to face such odds. Spies and gangsters face similar odds too. So do super heroes, supernatural characters, and sure, cinematic heroes.

You are NOT really a fan of "realism". You are a fan of low violence realism. Yeah. Its fine to play duelist gentlemen during Victorian Age that fight under strictly codes of honor. But don't say that this is "realism", because it doesn't encompass all the wide range that realism may encompass. In fact, your "solution" of using ONLY low violence, is not unlike using GM cheating to keep the PC alive. For example, while it is all fair to have your players dueling against equally honorable oponents, a single thug with a broken bottle and no honor could make a premature end of the career of your players.

You basically are rulling out a street fight between gangsters in a mortal fight, youre ruling out from your games the spy infiltrating the sovietic base, you are rulling out the soldier fighting th spacial battle, you are ruling out the mage facing the Dragon. Thats not really realism.

Last edited by KarlKost; 04-11-2017 at 08:49 PM.
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Old 04-12-2017, 12:14 AM   #89
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#39): Daredevil, Luck, Super Luck

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Don't you think the children of Bill Gates are luck? You can argue that good ol' Bill is a billionaire because he worked for it, being smart/incentive. But what have their children do besides being born by the right parents?
I don't think we're going to get all that much further from arguing the semantics of "luck."
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Old 04-12-2017, 03:08 AM   #90
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#39): Daredevil, Luck, Super Luck

I'm a fan of luck and similar advantages. I think it is a neat way of representing that difficult to define "X factor" that explains why the PCs are the heroes of the story rather than NPCs of comparable ability being the heroes.

I have used the advantages: luck, extraordinary luck and daredevil for my own characters and whilst they have been quite effective I have not found them to be game breaking. When I am GM I encourage at least one member of the party to take some form of luck. I also encourage at least one person to have danger sense and combat reflexes.
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