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Old 04-11-2017, 01:27 PM   #61
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#39): Daredevil, Luck, Super Luck

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I don't want things to work that way. And in the last analysis, I think that's purely a question of taste.
Saying you don't want things to work that way is a question of taste. Arguing that it's not realistic is not a question of taste.
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Old 04-11-2017, 01:32 PM   #62
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#39): Daredevil, Luck, Super Luck

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Out of a group of X many people some will be benefit from random chance, but in the real world you don't get to choose to benefit from random chance, but GURPS allows you to choose to play the lucky person if you pay the points.
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.
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Old 04-11-2017, 01:39 PM   #63
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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.
Being attractive physically attractive is an emergent property of a vast number of tiny effects; There's no such thing as an atom of attractiveness.

Leading a life that benefits from a statistically improbable amount of good events is equally an emergent property of a vast number of tiny effects.

Emergent properties are very real.
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Old 04-11-2017, 01:41 PM   #64
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#39): Daredevil, Luck, Super Luck

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Saying you don't want things to work that way is a question of taste. Arguing that it's not realistic is not a question of taste.
"I don't like this dessert" is an expression of taste. But "I don't like this dessert because it's made with coffee; I hate the taste of coffee" is also a statement of taste. Questions of taste commonly come down to liking or disliking a specific quality.

And "realism" in the sense in which GURPS uses it, as an antonym of "cinema" (or "epic"), looks to me to have something to do with the way in which Kromm's tastes differ from mine.
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Old 04-11-2017, 01:41 PM   #65
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#39): Daredevil, Luck, Super Luck

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Being attractive physically attractive is an emergent property of a vast number of tiny effects; There's no such thing as an atom of attractiveness.

Leading a life that benefits from a statistically improbable amount of good events is equally an emergent property of a vast number of tiny effects.
That's completely irrelevant to what we're talking about.
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Old 04-11-2017, 01:47 PM   #66
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#39): Daredevil, Luck, Super Luck

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That's completely irrelevant to what we're talking about.
It seems perfectly relevant to me.
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Old 04-11-2017, 01:54 PM   #67
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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.
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Being attractive physically attractive is an emergent property of a vast number of tiny effects; There's no such thing as an atom of attractiveness.

Leading a life that benefits from a statistically improbable amount of good events is equally an emergent property of a vast number of tiny effects.

Emergent properties are very real.
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That's completely irrelevant to what we're talking about.
No, it isn't. Appearance, as a GURPS trait (along with Charisma, of course), is a vastly simplified gamable treatment of a subject that in the real-world is prohibitively complex and allows players to play characters that are consistently attractive to almost everyone. In the real-world, the only trait such people reliably share is that almost everyone rates them as attractive.

Luck, in GURPS, is a trait which allows for characters that consistently beat the odds by surviving. In the real world, such people exist, at least over certain periods of time, but can obviously only be evaluated after the fact.

Both are meta-game constructs that allow for certain fictional concepts and which might also apply to real people, but in the case of real people, can only be evaluated by looking at results after the fact.
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Old 04-11-2017, 02:53 PM   #68
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#39): Daredevil, Luck, Super Luck

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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.
There are two ways to approach making Dan Daly in GURPS. One of them is make hundred or so Marines with Overconfidence and play them iteratively until one of them makes it through from the Boxer rebellion through WWI and is able to retire. The other way is to make Dan Daly and give him Luck and Daredevil. I don't think the former is more than a thought experiment, it is probably not playable, and isn't likely to be fun.

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Old 04-11-2017, 02:58 PM   #69
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#39): Daredevil, Luck, Super Luck

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Luck, in GURPS, is a trait which allows for characters that consistently beat the odds by surviving. In the real world, such people exist, at least over certain periods of time, but can obviously only be evaluated after the fact.
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."
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Old 04-11-2017, 03:39 PM   #70
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#39): Daredevil, Luck, Super Luck

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
There are two ways to approach making Dan Daly in GURPS. One of them is make hundred or so Marines with Overconfidence and play them iteratively until one of them makes it through from the Boxer rebellion through WWI and is able to retire. The other way is to make Dan Daly and give him Luck and Daredevil. I don't think the former is more than a thought experiment, it is probably not playable, and isn't likely to be fun.
Just so.

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No, that's just wrong. That is not what "luck" means.
It is in GURPS. The character with Luck is the one who survived ten or twenty occasions when they have a significant chance of dying, whereas the characters without it are the others, probably with otherwise similar stats, who didn't.

Most players want to play the former, not the latter. It would also require a lot of work to build all those characters.

It's also possible to avoid the risk of random character death by having games feature the appearance of risk, but very little actual risk, as in fact, the GM is working hard behind the scenes to avoid character death; e.g. by having NPCs decide not to kill them, by having challenges scaled to their abilities and not emerge from what NPCs would logically decide to do, etc.

Of these two methods, I prefer the one that is open and honest about it and allows the players a say in influencing probability in the interest of having the PCs be the lucky few who survive insane risk after insane risk, not the vast majority who succumb to probability. I'd rather have Luck than have a PC die ever three sessions and I'd rather have Luck than have the world bend around the PCs to ensure that what appears risky... isn't.

The fact is, the typical PC has a career filled with more risk than any ten special operators or death-defying daredevils. This happens in even the most grittily realistic game, assuming that there is any violence at all, as almost no normal person will ever have as many violent encounters as nine out of ten protagonists of any kind of story with even the slightest action-adventure elements.

Even CSI techs or analysts in fiction have more firefights than real soldiers in war zones. Characters in RPGs are usually not any different.
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