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Old 01-18-2023, 07:32 AM   #1
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Fortune/Misfortune Trait

I had an idea for an effect that could be used as a character trait or as a temporary buff/debuff. Basically, any time the character makes some flavor of success check (3d, roll under target), the character instead rolls 4d and discards the highest die (as an Advantage/buff, call it Fortune) or lowest die (as a Disadvantage/debuff, call it Misfortune). I'm having a bit of difficulty working out the value.

Using anydice.com, Fortune works out to roughly +1.75 to the roll (mean result drops from 10.5 to 8.76), while Misfortune works out to roughly -1.75 to the roll (mean result increases from 10.5 to 12.24). That part isn't too difficult - +1 to every roll would be something like +1 DX (no boost to Move) [18.75], +1 IQ [20], +1 HT (no boost to FP) [7], and a half level of Enhanced Defenses (all) (the +1 DX and +1 HT already give +0.5 to all defenses), which would be somewhere between [12.5] and [15] (personally, I think Enhanced Parry (all) should boost Block as well, so that you just need that and Enhanced Dodge, net [25] for a full +1, but I think RAW puts it at [30] by calling for Enhanced Block as well), for a total of between [58.25] and [60.75]. At +1.75, that's between [101.9375] and [106.3125].

However, having one of these traits markedly increases the chance of one critical while markedly reducing the chance of the other - Fortune means a 5.79% chance of rolling a 4 or less, a 13.04% chance of rolling a 5 or less (a crit with skill 15+), and a 23.15% chance of rolling a 6 or less (a crit with skill 16+). Meanwhile, it makes a roll of 17 or higher only have a 0.39% chance, and a roll of 18 (the only way to Critically Fail if skill is 16 or higher) is only around a 0.08% chance. Misfortune is basically the other way around (with skill 16+, you have a 2.78% chance to have a Critical Success and a 1.62% chance to have a Critical Failure).

To account for the effect on criticals, first off I'm thinking that a character with Fortune should max out their chance for a Critical Success at skill 15 - still better than what a character without the trait can get (13.04% vs 9.26%), but not as ridiculous as having nearly a one-in-four chance of a Critical Success. Secondly, I'm thinking it may be appropriate to just arbitrarily boost the value of the trait to [150] ([-150] for Misfortune). Does that sound fair? Am I overstating the critical effect and something like [125] would be a better price... or am I understating it and the price should be boosted even further, perhaps to [175] or even [200]?

It might also be interesting to allow for a character who has bizarre luck. For this, the character rolls 4d, as for one with Fortune/Misfortune, but one die is a different color. If the odd-colored die rolls odd, you discard your highest die; if it rolls even, you discard your lowest die. This would probably be a Feature, although it could result in the character getting a separate Reputation of some flavor.
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Old 01-18-2023, 07:49 AM   #2
Pursuivant
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Default Re: Fortune/Misfortune Trait

If it affects just a group of skills it might be priced like Talent/Anti-Talent rather than an alteration of a primary attributes. That would drop the price.

Just having the trait affect skill rolls, not Active Defenses would also significantly drop the price.

As another data point, consider the Higher Purpose and Daredevil advantages which give a +1 bonus to skill in certain situations.

The altered chances of rolling a Critical Success/Failure might be priced like Blessed or Luck or Divine Curse or Unluckiness could be modeled as a Perk or Quirk.

Personally, I'd handwave it as a variant of Luck/Unluckiness with the usually cost.
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Old 01-18-2023, 07:56 AM   #3
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Fortune/Misfortune Trait

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pursuivant View Post
If it affects just a group of skills it might be priced like Talent/Anti-Talent rather than an alteration of a primary attributes. That would drop the price.

Just having the trait affect skill rolls, not Active Defenses would also significantly drop the price.

As another data point, consider the Higher Purpose and Daredevil advantages which give a +1 bonus to skill in certain situations.

The altered chances of rolling a Critical Success/Failure might be priced like Blessed or Luck or Divine Curse or Unluckiness could be modeled as a Perk or Quirk.

Personally, I'd handwave it as a variant of Luck/Unluckiness with the usually cost.
The idea here is that this isn't a thing that happens from time to time (as with Luck/Unluckiness), but rather it's something that happens on basically every single roll the character makes (or every such roll while the effect is in play, if it's from an Affliction/Benefaction). Modifying it in various ways - such that it only applies to certain types of rolls, for example - could certainly be an option, but I'm looking for a base cost for someone who's just always lucky/unlucky in this fashion.
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Old 01-18-2023, 08:17 AM   #4
johndallman
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: Fortune/Misfortune Trait

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
Modifying it in various ways - such that it only applies to certain types of rolls, for example - could certainly be an option, but I'm looking for a base cost for someone who's just always lucky/unlucky in this fashion.
My immediate suspicion is that it will have so much effect that it's unplayable. If it's inexpensive, it makes the character so lucky that other players will start wondering what their characters are there for.

If it's priced in response to that, say [200], then in a game with a budget in the 250-500 range, any character with it will have given up so much to afford it that they won't be effective even with this degree of good fortune. You get a fighter who can make extraordinary hits, but doesn't have enough ST to do much damage through DR, or a spellcaster with too few spells to handle many situations.

I'd specifically ban it in games with Ritual Path Magic: its effect on energy-gathering would be completely unbalancing.
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Old 01-18-2023, 08:28 AM   #5
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Fortune/Misfortune Trait

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
My immediate suspicion is that it will have so much effect that it's unplayable.
That's one of my fears, here. Certainly, letting it give you nearly a 25% chance of a Critical Success would make it essentially unplayable, but I think where it is now the Critical Success chance isn't so high as to break the game. The reduced chance of Automatic/Critical Failure may be problematic, particularly (as you note) for something like Ritual Path Magic... but then aren't there rules out there for some flavor of stabilized casting that would actually make Critical Failures even less likely than this would?
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Old 01-18-2023, 09:39 AM   #6
Stormcrow
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ronkonkoma, NY
Default Re: Fortune/Misfortune Trait

You're messing with the probability curve of GURPS, and this may have unintended side-effects. https://anydice.com/articles/4d6-drop-lowest/

All modifiers to your rolls will be based on this new curve instead of the standard one that every other roll is based on. +1 will mean something different to the "fortune skill" than to all other rolls.
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Old 01-18-2023, 10:37 AM   #7
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Fortune/Misfortune Trait

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post
You're messing with the probability curve of GURPS, and this may have unintended side-effects. https://anydice.com/articles/4d6-drop-lowest/

All modifiers to your rolls will be based on this new curve instead of the standard one that every other roll is based on. +1 will mean something different to the "fortune skill" than to all other rolls.
I'll note there is no Fortune skill or anything of the like - for a character with the suggested Fortune Advantage, all success rolls are skewed, with a lower average and a bit less variance (a Standard Deviation of 2.85 instead of 2.96). You can see how Fortune and Misfortune compare to the standard here. Aside from the effect on crits, it's fairly comparable to just adding 1.75 to all rolls (or would be, if fractional results were possible on 3d6).
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Old 01-18-2023, 11:21 AM   #8
Stormcrow
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ronkonkoma, NY
Default Re: Fortune/Misfortune Trait

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
I'll note there is no Fortune skill or anything of the like
I put that in lowercase and scare quotes to shorten "skills that would be affected by your proposed Fortune advantage," not to suggest I thought you were talking about a skill called Fortune.
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Old 01-19-2023, 11:30 AM   #9
Pursuivant
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Default Re: Fortune/Misfortune Trait

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
The idea here is that this isn't a thing that happens from time to time (as with Luck/Unluckiness), but rather it's something that happens on basically every single roll the character makes (or every such roll while the effect is in play, if it's from an Affliction/Benefaction).
In that case, put a minimum price on it based on the attributes it affects plus a level of Ridiculous Luck or Super Luck, since those traits come closest to the "probability alteration" effects of your power. That means ~120-150 points at minimum, assuming that the results of "roll 3d x3 times" work out to be about the same as "4d & drop lowest."

It might be a more attractive trait if you applied it as a Cosmic modifier to existing levels of Luck. For example, regular Fortune allows you to roll 4d & drop the lowest once per 60 minutes of play, while Ridiculous Fortune allows you to do so every 10 minutes.
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Old 01-19-2023, 11:44 AM   #10
JulianLW
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Default Re: Fortune/Misfortune Trait

John S. Ross, author of lots of GURPS 3e material, had a variation of Luck called Luck Type III:

Quote:
Luck Type III (The Luck Die); Variable

To use this advantage, you need a single d6 of a distinctive color (the Luck Die). Include this die as one of the dice rolled whenever you make a success or damage roll, or engage in a Contest (it affect no other kinds of rolls). If the roll is only 1d to begin with, then the Luck Die is the only die you roll.

Your Luck Die has a Wild Digit (any number from 1 to 6). Whenever this number comes up on the Luck Die, you may change it to any OTHER number from 1 to 6. The price of this advantage depends on the Wild Digit.

1 - 10 points

2 - 15 points

3 - 20 points

4 - 25 points

5 - 30 points

6 - 40 points

You may only have one Luck Die, but you may have more than one Wild Digit; just add the costs. If any Odd result is wild, for instance, the price would be 60 points. If EVERY digit on the Luck Die is wild (140 points!), you don't need to roll the Luck Die at all - just set it down showing whichever number you choose!
You can find that and others here:

https://web.archive.org/web/20040902...n/unsorted.htm
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