Alternative Luck tests

Advanced Fighting Fantasy discussion
Post Reply
User avatar
dipsomancer
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:39 pm

Alternative Luck tests

Post by dipsomancer » Wed Feb 19, 2020 3:46 pm

I don’t believe I can be the first to suggest this, but I was having trouble using the forum search so apologies if I’m just replicating someone else post..

The alternative unopposed test rules given in the main book suggest that Luck tests remain the same, and I understand why as Luck doesn’t really have any related special skills, so trying to reach a target number of 15 alters the chances of success, but I started to think if you wanted to streamline the rolling mechanics to all operate the same way how could you go about it.

Within the description of the dodge special skill it talks about using the skill to dodge traps, but that kind of reduces the function of the luck characteristic. So if you wanted to keep the alternative roll rules throughout you could just roll Luck + Dodge.

Then I started to think, well that’s ok for agility based threats but what about if I accidentally drink something poisonous, well Luck + Awareness to spit it out really quick, or if it’s a poisonous bite, Luck + Strength to endure the poison. I did think about maybe renaming the Armour special skill; ‘Endurance’ as wearing armour is more of an endurance thing, it could then also be used for when characters have to deal with protracted activity.

Finally there’s mental coercion, ‘sleep, command, LAW, etc..’ now mages have a leg up here as Luck + Magic Lore is an obvious fit, but how about a priest using their Luck + Religious Lore and piously bolster their mental defensives, or a warrior using Luck + Leadership to use their sheer force of personality to power through.

Thoughts, criticisms, reinventing the wheel, etc?

Jakob
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2020 12:10 pm
Contact:

Re: Alternative Luck tests

Post by Jakob » Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:04 pm

The alternative unopposed test rules given in the main book suggest that Luck tests remain the same, and I understand why as Luck doesn’t really have any related special skills, so trying to reach a target number of 15 alters the chances of success, but I started to think if you wanted to streamline the rolling mechanics to all operate the same way how could you go about it.
It's not quite like that.
The one thing that the rules have wrong with regards to success chances is giving 15 as target number for an unopposed, unmodified test with the roll-high method. It should be 14. That way, you get exactly the same chances of success and failure for any effective skill, luck or magic score as with roll-under. It doesn't matter for that whether your effective skill includes modifiers by advanced skills or whether you roll for luck or magic instead of skill.

As an example:

If you have a Luck score of 12, you need to roll a 12 or less with roll-under; and you need to roll a 2 or more with roll-high to match a target number of - in both cases, that's an auto-success.

If you have a Luck score of 9, you need to roll a 2,3,4,5,6,7,8 or 9 with roll under, which are the 8 possible lower results on 2d6; with roll-high and a target number of 14, you need to roll a 5,6,7,8,9,10,11 or 12, which are the 8 possible higher results on 2d6, so you get exactly the same chances.

This works for any Luck (or Skill, or Magic) Score. With a target number of 14, you get the same chances as with roll-under. And you can apply just the same modifiers in the same way, and it still works.


EDIT: By the way, I still like the idea to allow using Advanced Skills with Luck, giving you an Edge in certain cases!
http://swanosaurus.blogspot.com/ - A Fierce and Beautfiul Creature

User avatar
SkinnyOrc
Hero
Posts: 706
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:53 am
Contact:

Re: Alternative Luck tests

Post by SkinnyOrc » Fri Feb 21, 2020 1:12 am

I haven't tried the alternative unopposed test rules (in the optional rules on page 156 for anyone wondering) that make them roll over, not roll under. I'm happy to take Jakob's word for it that 14 works better as the base target number than 15.

What I'll add is it makes no sense to try to include either Special Skills or difficulty modifiers to LUCK tests. The entire point of LUCK tests is they're where it's purely down to chance and how lucky the character is. For any situation where the character's experience and skills would make a difference it should be against SKILL, STAMINA or MAGIC, unless the player opts to rely on their LUCK instead. As soon as they do that all the modifiers go out the window and it's just about if chance smiles on them.

The alternative unopposed test rules say not to try to apply them to LUCK tests, and that's because of the above.

If you want more stats to make tests against you might want to look at adding some or all of these Minor Characteristics.

Jakob
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2020 12:10 pm
Contact:

Re: Alternative Luck tests

Post by Jakob » Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:15 am

SkinnyOrc wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 1:12 am

What I'll add is it makes no sense to try to include either Special Skills or difficulty modifiers to LUCK tests. The entire point of LUCK tests is they're where it's purely down to chance and how lucky the character is. For any situation where the character's experience and skills would make a difference it should be against SKILL, STAMINA or MAGIC, unless the player opts to rely on their LUCK instead. As soon as they do that all the modifiers go out the window and it's just about if chance smiles on them.
That's a good point - I agree that at least when players decide to roll Luck instead of Skill, they shouldn't be allowed to add advanced skill bonuses, because then it is clear that they have decided to rely on Luck alone.
However, there are a lot of classic "saving throw" cases where Luck is the main thing, but some expertise might reasonably help. I think I'll just try it out for a session or two and see what it does to the game.
http://swanosaurus.blogspot.com/ - A Fierce and Beautfiul Creature

User avatar
SkinnyOrc
Hero
Posts: 706
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:53 am
Contact:

Re: Alternative Luck tests

Post by SkinnyOrc » Fri Feb 21, 2020 9:33 am

Jakob wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:15 am
However, there are a lot of classic "saving throw" cases where Luck is the main thing, but some expertise might reasonably help. I think I'll just try it out for a session or two and see what it does to the game.
I look at it like this. D&D saving throws are all based on level, which is based on experience. SKILL is also based on experience as an adventurer. So I think you can see SKILL as being roughly equivalent to Level, and SKILL tests as equivalent to saves. Really D&D has no equivalent to a LUCK test, one based purely on chance. But it does make sense some things are just down to luck, and it's up to the GM to decide when those are.

Jakob
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2020 12:10 pm
Contact:

Re: Alternative Luck tests

Post by Jakob » Fri Feb 21, 2020 10:12 am

SkinnyOrc wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 9:33 am
But it does make sense some things are just down to luck, and it's up to the GM to decide when those are.
That's certainly true; but I think using Luck+Adv. Skill occassionally could be an occasional middle way. RAW, there are a lot of uses of Luck that could be tied to Skill, depending on how you look at it - avoiding to fall into a trapdoor opening beneath your feet might be based on Luck, or it might be based on your Awareness or Agility. Going with something like Luck +Awareness Special Skill would imply that it is mainly down to luck, but being execeptionally aware auf you surroundings might help.

Anyway, I look at it more from the "what does it do to gameplay" perspective, so the best way to find out is probably to just give it a try where it seems to make sense. I guess most of the time, it would come down to unmodified Luck rolls anyway. I guess I would use Luck+Adv. Skill only in cases where I'd be asking myself "should this be a Luck or a Skill roll?" anyway.
http://swanosaurus.blogspot.com/ - A Fierce and Beautfiul Creature

User avatar
SkinnyOrc
Hero
Posts: 706
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:53 am
Contact:

Re: Alternative Luck tests

Post by SkinnyOrc » Fri Feb 21, 2020 11:22 am

Jakob wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 10:12 am
I think using Luck+Adv. Skill occassionally could be an occasional middle way. RAW, there are a lot of uses of Luck that could be tied to Skill, depending on how you look at it - avoiding to fall into a trapdoor opening beneath your feet might be based on Luck, or it might be based on your Awareness or Agility.
Yep I think I can see where you're going with that. With the trapdoor example, you could look at it that the luck part is the dice roll, if you roll well you were lucky. But in a game where a character is inherently lucky or unlucky (their LUCK score) it does sort of make sense you could apply that luckiness at the same time as your experience. I'm happy with the standard mechanic where the player has to choose which they'll rely on each time, but it's something to think about.

User avatar
dipsomancer
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:39 pm

Re: Alternative Luck tests

Post by dipsomancer » Sat Feb 22, 2020 11:21 am

Cheers people good to get some feedback, I think for me I'm looking at luck tests as a saving throw mechanic. I'm going to try it out with my players though and see if they prefer it, after some more thought though what I might do is make them the offer of narrating how there particular skill helps their chances rather than prescribing specific skills as I want to avoid the situation of 'you definitely need these three skills in order to make your luck saves'. . i.e. 'As the fire blast fills the corridor, my warrior drops and rolls, trusting in his 'Armour' to help protect him from the flames', 'As the flames fill the corridor my Rouge leaps back out of the doorway, trying to 'Dodge' the worst of it'. True it means they are more likely to walk away unscathed, but for me its more about making my PC's feel under pressure and forcing (is that the right word) them to think creatively about their choices.

Post Reply