Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-11-2017, 07:59 AM   #41
NineDaysDead
 
NineDaysDead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#39): Daredevil, Luck, Super Luck

Quote:
Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
I don't believe that anyone has "luck" as a substantive thing in the real world. There are random fluctuations, and we call them "luck" when they're favorable and large (or "bad luck" when unfavorable and large); but no one has a persistent tendency to get favorable or unfavorable random outcomes. The dice have no memory. As Ecclesiastes say, "Time and chance happeneth to them all."

And I have a strong desire for verimilitude in my fictional worlds.

Now, I'm willing to set this aside if one of the premises of the world is, say, the favor of gods or spirits, or a psionic ability to influence random events. That's exploring a fantastic premise. But I just don't buy Luck as a mundane trait; nor as a meta-level narratively granted blessing. "Oh, he's the hero, things will turn out right for him!" Though I might well allow a character to have a belief in their own luck as a Delusion.
Luck doesn't have to mean Luck:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyramid 62; page 7
Extraordinary Luck (Aspected, Social Interactions, -20%) [24];
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyramid 62; page 7
Schmidt is a highly experienced diplomat and bureaucrat. Her Intuition and Luck don’t represent anything supernatural or even especially uncanny – she just has very good instincts, especially in social situations, and is highly unlikely to do anything disastrous.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Consider the following two cases:
  • Throughout a time period, a person has no critical failures due to the way dice got rolled, and thus suffered no critical-failure in-game events.
  • Throughout a time period, a person has no critical failures due to Luck-granted rerolls, and thus suffered no critical-failure in-game events.
From an in-setting PoV, the two cases are identical; there is no difference whatsoever - they just didn't make a critfailure in that period. The former character is not supernatural in any way. And thus the second one isn't either.
That's pretty much the truth of it right there. Any outcome that could happen due to dice rolls and permitted player declarations on the meta-game level (and not due to special traits, spending points, GM fiat, etc.) is a natural outcome in the game world. It remains natural even when it comes about due to rerolls or point-spending to affect success on the meta-game level, because those influences are not character-initiated within the sphere of the game world, but player-initiated, which makes them indistinguishable from an ordinary turn of events in the game world. It isn't as if the character has knowledge of what could've or almost happened . . . from her perspective, things just worked out in a way that they might have done anyhow. There's nothing especially supernatural about it.

Now at the end of that character's career, it's quite possible that biographers and historians and those singing praises – or even the adventurer herself – might analyze her life and realize that it had more than its fair share of improbable (but still possible and plausible) events. Those people might call her "lucky," and start making claims that this was due to divine favor or a magic charm or whatever. But that's a retroactive perspective and, more important, pure conjecture . . . a hard-nosed secular rationalist and naturalist would just shrug and claim that since the odds weren't 0, what happened happened, and perhaps try to turn it into a lesson in probability for the less-enlightened.
__________________
Ebaying:

Last edited by NineDaysDead; 04-11-2017 at 08:06 AM.
NineDaysDead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2017, 09:21 AM   #42
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#39): Daredevil, Luck, Super Luck

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anders View Post
Do you have magic?
Sometimes, yes. And I addressed that already in the part of my comment that you didn't quote.
__________________
Bill Stoddard

A human being should know how to live fast, die young, and leave a beautiful corpse. Specialization is for insects.
whswhs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2017, 09:35 AM   #43
Anders
Banned
 
Anders's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#39): Daredevil, Luck, Super Luck

Quote:
Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
Sometimes, yes. And I addressed that already in the part of my comment that you didn't quote.
You did. My apologies.
Anders is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2017, 09:53 AM   #44
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#39): Daredevil, Luck, Super Luck

Quote:
Originally Posted by NineDaysDead View Post
Luck doesn't have to mean Luck:
Sure. There's a passage in Atlas Shrugged about the richest banker in North America being called an "audacious gambler" in a newspaper story. He tells the reporter, "The reason you'll never be rich is that you think what I'm doing is gambling."

But I'm not talking about that behind-the-curtain stuff. I'm talking about the narrative concept "Alice is lucky." The fact that you can use the rules for Luck to build abilities that represent other things isn't relevant; the ordinary use of Luck is to represent a person being "lucky" as a persistent attribute, and it's that ordinary use that jars me.
__________________
Bill Stoddard

A human being should know how to live fast, die young, and leave a beautiful corpse. Specialization is for insects.
whswhs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2017, 10:01 AM   #45
Icelander
 
Icelander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Iceland*
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#39): Daredevil, Luck, Super Luck

Quote:
Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
But I'm not talking about that behind-the-curtain stuff. I'm talking about the narrative concept "Alice is lucky." The fact that you can use the rules for Luck to build abilities that represent other things isn't relevant; the ordinary use of Luck is to represent a person being "lucky" as a persistent attribute, and it's that ordinary use that jars me.
GURPS Honesty or Selfish doesn't mean what most people mean when they say someone is honest or selfish, either.

For the vast majority of campaigns, the PCs are meant to pass through many dangers. It is very common for these dangers to be quite severe. Nevertheless, the PCs surviving is usually viewed as a desirable outcome, at least by the players.

In the real world, someone who survives many instaces of mortal danger, which might have killed many others, might fairly be characterised as 'lucky'. This is after the fact, obviously, not an innnate trait of the person, but for a character in a role-playing game, traits that reflect something that people in the game world only notice afterwards like Luck or Destiny, are perfectly reasonable.

Giving PCs the meta-game trait of Luck is more-or-less a way to increase the odds of the PCs being one of the rare exceptions who survive, rather than the statistical average who die. There are alternatives, of course; including the GM providing the apperance of dangerous situations, without much in the way of real danger, or metagaming through GM-manipulation of dice rolls, or just having every player create five characters and taking over a new one when the previous one dies, because that's how probability works when people take many chances in a row.
__________________
Za uspiekh nashevo beznadiozhnovo diela!

Last edited by Icelander; 04-11-2017 at 10:12 AM.
Icelander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2017, 10:09 AM   #46
KarlKost
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Brazil
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#39): Daredevil, Luck, Super Luck

For example, in real life, we have an interesting figure called Giuseppe Garibaldi. That guy is nuts. His most remarkable achievement was the unification of Italy, BUT, that aint the only thing he has done. Before fighting in Italy, he were here in my country, in Brazil, where he were one of the main leaders of one of the major civil wars my country ever had, called the Farroupilhas revolt (the italian community in Brazil is bigger than in USA by the way). After that, he fought in Uruguay, and in Argentina after that. And, after playing Victorian Age "Che" Guevara, he went to Italy to build a country.

That's one man who were born to fight. How did he survive for so long, being involved into so many wars? Well... Luck... Perhaps. He just got Luck.

You see, its a matter of chance. What's the odds for a soldier to survive one single battle? And 2? 3? 100? And even 1000?

So, if there is a chance of only 0.0001% for a soldier to survive 1000 battles, in a war with millions of soldiers, you can expect a handfull few to do it. Can you not say that they weren't luck - specially if you compare with the guy that died in the first day before even being able to reach the shore?
KarlKost is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2017, 10:19 AM   #47
KarlKost
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Brazil
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#39): Daredevil, Luck, Super Luck

Quote:
Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
Sure. There's a passage in Atlas Shrugged about the richest banker in North America being called an "audacious gambler" in a newspaper story. He tells the reporter, "The reason you'll never be rich is that you think what I'm doing is gambling."

But I'm not talking about that behind-the-curtain stuff. I'm talking about the narrative concept "Alice is lucky." The fact that you can use the rules for Luck to build abilities that represent other things isn't relevant; the ordinary use of Luck is to represent a person being "lucky" as a persistent attribute, and it's that ordinary use that jars me.
Well, Captain Jack Sparrow has a few levels of Daredevil (more than just one in my opnion), and probably Luck too (Daredevil is a kind of Luck anyone, so its close enough). Of course, he is highly cinematographic, but it is a fun character and a cool concept; no one TRULY think of him as a "lucky bastard", it just gets people in awe for his stunts. And, all that he do, is just absolutely mundane, nothing inherently "magical" about it.

If you make a char with Luck, you can threath it as a Jack Sparrow sort of type (probably even without being so much cinematographic if you just buy the most basic level of it). However, get Daredevil 5, Rapier Wit, and you ARE Captain Jack Sparrow
KarlKost is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2017, 10:30 AM   #48
Bruno
 
Bruno's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Canada
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#39): Daredevil, Luck, Super Luck

I've had bad crap happen to me (like most people) so I don't really know that anyone would ever consider me "lucky" as in "lives a charmed life" or "is a good luck charm" or "Bruno needs to buy lottery tickets". I have, however, been very fortunate for walking away from quite a few situations where the expected outcomes were death, paralysis, brain damage, or at least a lovely collection of broken bones and some organ damage.

I am not superstitious and I would never write the narrative of my life describing me as "lucky". But were I writing myself up as a character, I might put Lucky down on my sheet, with a limitation on it. Not for preventing things, just for mitigating results :)

I put Lucky/Unlucky/Cursed/Serendipity in the same bag as Destiny, Weirdness Magnet, Patron, Enemy, Ally, Contact, and Signature Gear - these are metagame contracts about how you want gameplay to go. Lucky and Serendipity are more in the hands of the player than the other traits, which makes them stick out - but they're all contracts.
__________________
All about Size Modifier; Unified Hit Location Table
A Wiki for my F2F Group
A GURPS blog
Bruno is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2017, 10:31 AM   #49
Anders
Banned
 
Anders's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#39): Daredevil, Luck, Super Luck

I agree that it's a bit out of place in a hard-nosed realistic campaign.
Anders is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2017, 11:06 AM   #50
martinl
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#39): Daredevil, Luck, Super Luck

Quote:
Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
But I just don't buy Luck as a mundane trait; nor as a meta-level narratively granted blessing. "Oh, he's the hero, things will turn out right for him!"
I agree with the first point, and disagree with the second, because of the first.

Real life "heroes" are often just folks who were good and lucky. 100,000 men charged the enemy trenches, 10,000 made it there, 1,000 were part of a charge that actually captured the trench in question, 100 managed to hold it long enough to be re-enforced, 10 of those survived that action unscathed, and only 1 was seen by a surviving officer killing three enemy soldiers with an entrenching tool.

For propaganda reasons that guy is a national hero.

That 1 guy was probably a cut above the rest, sure, but if we repeat the experiment on a different trench with this guy plus 99,999 different but equivalent soldiers, that guy is probably not a hero again - he is very likely to be worm food. He was just lucky (in a statistical sense) the first time. [1]

In game terms, when I'm running at least, Luck is usually [2] the unstated assumption that 10 other folks in a similar level of peril as your PC bought it, but we're not going to play through their adventure.

All that said, if your jam is the realist literature version of role playing, where the PCs are explicitly not the "lucky ones," of course luck is inappropriate. From your posting history I think you might prefer that. I don't think that is a common preference though.

[1] Since he is also a cut above, his odds are probably better than 1 in 100,000, but even with 100x the survivability of the other guys his odds are still very bad.

[2] Luck can of course also be an explicit supernatural ability as well.
martinl is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
advantage, advantage of the week, daredevil, luck, super luck, [basic]

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:59 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.