Birth Augur and Lucky Roll

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tovokas
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Birth Augur and Lucky Roll

Post by tovokas » Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:44 pm

As I was creating my character generator, I developed some observations about Birth Augur/Lucky Roll:

1)I love the idea of a characters having something particular that they're lucky at, but by my rough estimate, about 95% of characters are one luck burn away from either having no bonus, or much more likely, a negative bonus on these rolls. So in most cases your Birth Augur could be considered an 'unlucky' roll. If your augur is in something important like 'all attack rolls', burning luck would likely not be a reasonable option for most folks.

2)Stats effect things. Cool. But only luck goes up and down regularly, which does create a bookkeeping challenge. Having your Lucky Roll based on your current luck is just one additional thing to keep track of, which I'm not sure jibes with the whole DCC ethos. ;)

3)Most of the lucky rolls are 'constant effect', but some are essentially 'at each level change': which seems a bit kludgy

Since I've created literally hundreds of characters testing the generator, it's obvious that most characters are lovable losers, with limited strengths offset by crippling flaws. I LOVE that, as it makes the survivors that much more special. This is how 'campaign mythology' is built and I think it's a tremendous strength for the system. But I would love for the Birth Augurs to be one sure bright spot in what otherwise might be a dark character sheet.

As a result, I'll probably run it that your Birth Augur gives you an automatic +1 bonus in your lucky roll, unaffected by your actual luck score. (Since the luck mod already effects criticals, I don't consider this a big balance loss) Eliminating the 'sliding scale' eliminates the bookkeeping. It could also provide a nice story promoter, as a character might pursue a career that they're otherwise wholly unsuited for, since they're 'just a bit lucky' in that area.

I'll see how it works, but regardless, I'm compelled to send a little love to my 0-level serfs. :)
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Re: Birth Augur and Lucky Roll

Post by Machpants » Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:25 pm

While I am not sure about your answer, I am with your reasoning. The majority of PCs your birth augur is really your doom augur. It is certainly an idea worth pursuing
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Re: Birth Augur and Lucky Roll

Post by maasenstodt » Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:49 am

Even without burning any luck, the large majority of 0 level characters are not blessed by the stars in the least. I'm content with the system as is, but I might change my mind if I wasn't using the character funnel to winnow out the worst of the worst (i.e., if I was creating a character starting at 1st level or higher).

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Re: Birth Augur and Lucky Roll

Post by finarvyn » Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:18 am

tovokas wrote:Since I've created literally hundreds of characters testing the generator, it's obvious that most characters are lovable losers, with limited strengths offset by crippling flaws. I LOVE that, as it makes the survivors that much more special.
This was a feature of the 1974 OD&D rules and it can both be a strength and a weakness of a game system.

Over time there has been a gradual attribute inflation from 3d6 in order to 3d6 choose the order, then 4d6 keep 3, to point-build systems and so on. In the old days no one worried about what happens when you top 18, then they had to work out what happens at 19, then AD&D took it to 25, and the attribute rise just keeps going.

I think that 3d6 can be a great system, and I'm glad that you like it, but it certainly requires that players re-learn some of the scale that they have been using. A character with an 18 stat is pretty amazing, since only 1 in 216 stats should be an 18 and thus only about 1 in 36 characters would get one. Makes them special, unless you're used to characters with bunches of 'em.
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Re: Birth Augur and Lucky Roll

Post by finarvyn » Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:21 am

tovokas wrote:I'll probably run it that your Birth Augur gives you an automatic +1 bonus in your lucky roll, unaffected by your actual luck score. (Since the luck mod already effects criticals, I don't consider this a big balance loss) Eliminating the 'sliding scale' eliminates the bookkeeping. It could also provide a nice story promoter, as a character might pursue a career that they're otherwise wholly unsuited for, since they're 'just a bit lucky' in that area.
This is a neat idea. I've had quite a few characters end up with negative luck modifiers from the start, so their lucky Birth Augur is almost always a bummer. This is a step in the right direction, since it means that every character has something special (and positive) going for him. 8)
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Re: Birth Augur and Lucky Roll

Post by nanstreet » Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:29 am

I also like tovokas's idea and reasoning. I think luck is well done in the number of things it modifes, from corruption to crits. Why not let the Birth Augur just be a small bit of luck or skill for the character, and then not have to fuss with it thereafter. Halflings and Thieves especially will be having their luck scores go up and down a lot.

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Re: Birth Augur and Lucky Roll

Post by jmucchiello » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:30 am

+d5. Make birth augurs incorruptible.

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Re: Birth Augur and Lucky Roll

Post by meinvt » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:35 am

I'd like to know more about how Luck can be gained/re-gained, etc. before completely coming down on one side of this. I agree that as it stands Luck is going to more often be a negative modifier than positive because it starts with an equal chance of both and only goes down from there.

To modify the above suggestion, maybe the luck ability modifier for your birth sign should always be +1 from what your luck shows? So it is, on average, a true bonus, and never a penalty unless you are particularly unlucky (5 or less).

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Re: Birth Augur and Lucky Roll

Post by Dreamslinger » Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:27 pm

As it stands Luck is probably one of the worst stats to have a penalty from.

In addition to the drawbacks of having a low Luck score and one of the Augurs that come in to play frequently your class choice will penalize you in what you should be best at.


I'd really like to see how Luck is supposed to work in the long term.

Is the amount of Luck that a character starts with meant to be all the Luck they'll ever have ( Thieves and Halflings excluded ).

As a GM should you be doling out a point of Luck or two per session or just upon completion of a campaign or adventure milestone?

Does Luck cap at whatever score was rolled during character creation or can every character potentially have an 18 Luck score?

I'm guessing that these kind of things have already been worked out but just didn't make it into the GM section of the beta rules. I could have sworn that I was a thread that Harley or Joseph mentioned how they handle using Luck as a reward.
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Re: Birth Augur and Lucky Roll

Post by finarvyn » Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:05 pm

Dreamslinger wrote:As a GM should you be doling out a point of Luck or two per session or just upon completion of a campaign or adventure milestone?
An interesting question, as it leads to luck as a game "currency" a lot like XP. If you don't hand out luck points a character gets less and less lucky until he eventually can't survive anything any more. If you do hand out luck then luck becomes a lot like "fate points."

I suspect that one would need to be pretty frugal with handing out luck.
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Re: Birth Augur and Lucky Roll

Post by Drew » Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:22 am

nanstreet wrote:I also like tovokas's idea and reasoning. I think luck is well done in the number of things it modifes, from corruption to crits. Why not let the Birth Augur just be a small bit of luck or skill for the character, and then not have to fuss with it thereafter. Halflings and Thieves especially will be having their luck scores go up and down a lot.
I quite agree.
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Re: Birth Augur and Lucky Roll

Post by Roman » Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:04 am

I do like many of the ideas in this thread.

I think that it would indeed be useful to hand out Luck points at the end of a module (some may even want to go by session, depending on how often Luck is spent in-game). I do think that if the GM does so, the cap should be the character's original Luck score.

If players can earn Luck back, then I might not have the Birth Augur always be a +1. (Some people are just born unlucky, after all.)

I intend to start my playtest groups in July, so I'll let you know how it works out.
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Re: Birth Augur and Lucky Roll

Post by numenetics » Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:36 am

I'd really like to see some examples of the kind of actions that people have given out luck for, as I've had a hard time figuring out when that would be. Is it just acting out your alignment really well?

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Re: Birth Augur and Lucky Roll

Post by meinvt » Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:12 am

Roman wrote:I do like many of the ideas in this thread.

I think that it would indeed be useful to hand out Luck points at the end of a module (some may even want to go by session, depending on how often Luck is spent in-game). I do think that if the GM does so, the cap should be the character's original Luck score.

If players can earn Luck back, then I might not have the Birth Augur always be a +1. (Some people are just born unlucky, after all.)

I intend to start my playtest groups in July, so I'll let you know how it works out.
Without knowing how points are supposed to be awarded I have trouble judging. My problem with the bluck system right now is that you have an equal chance of a + or - penalty, but then you spend luck and virtually guarantee a minus. If luck could go above your starting value, then at least it gives the opportunity to save up and get it into a bonus. Otherwise it seems that luck will be, in general, a penalty to those types of rolls in a lot of situations, which I don't believe is the original design intent.

For this reason, I'm going to award luck points when I award experience (based on some formula I haven't figured out yet) and disregard the starting roll.

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Re: Birth Augur and Lucky Roll

Post by numenetics » Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:25 am

meinvt wrote:For this reason, I'm going to award luck points when I award experience (based on some formula I haven't figured out yet) and disregard the starting roll.
Something just struck me: I'm not sure I like having luck based at all on what a character does, or at least not primarily. What if at the end of each adventure you made some kind of random determination of whether your luck was changing one way or another? Not sure what odds would make sense, or if it should be influenced by current luck at all. Maybe it would be influenced by your starting/maximum luck. Anyone else feel me on this?

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Re: Birth Augur and Lucky Roll

Post by ogbendog » Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:33 am

interesting idea. like maybe everyone gets to add d4 to their luck.

and some advetures might have bonuses. If a good player despoils an evil temple, he get's a big bonus, while a chaotic character does not, rather the other way around.

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Re: Birth Augur and Lucky Roll

Post by numenetics » Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:36 am

ogbendog wrote:interesting idea. like maybe everyone gets to add d4 to their luck.

and some advetures might have bonuses. If a good player despoils an evil temple, he get's a big bonus, while a chaotic character does not, rather the other way around.
Yeah, something like that, but with the possibility that it could get worse, too. Knowing that your current run of good luck isn't guaranteed to last could add a "smoke 'em while you got 'em" feel to luck.

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Re: Birth Augur and Lucky Roll

Post by meinvt » Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:11 am

I was thinking, for those who recall it, something like the original Marvel Super Heroes karma system, except modified for alignment. So yes, it could go up or down, but also by making clear your alignment, deity and quest and then acting appropriately you get to choose to make it go up.

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Re: Birth Augur and Lucky Roll

Post by ogbendog » Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:13 am

I would suggest something like, sins/virtues for each alignment. not a lot, just some basics / guidlines.

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Re: Birth Augur and Lucky Roll

Post by Dreamslinger » Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:21 pm

I knew I saw Joseph Goodman post something about recovering luck in a different thread.

Here is is:
This is what goodmangames wrote in a different thread wrote: Hopefully I actually wrote this somewhere in the beta, but Luck can be restored in one of two ways.

* If you're a halfling or thief, it recovers at the rate of 1 point per day.
* For all classes, you can recover Luck by performing deeds worthy of the cosmic powers. Gain the favor of a deity or demigod, and you'll be favored by chance: reflected in an improvement to Luck. Hmm, now that I think about it, I think this may be in the judge's rules that didn't make it into the beta rules. Anyway, in my games, I usually award 1-2 points of Luck per adventure, depending on what great tasks the PCs completed that would have warranted the attention of the gods. (And, opposite of that, offending a deity could result in a Luck penalty.) Things like saving a temple, protecting a favored saint, performing an act that embodies a deity's beliefs, etc. can also benefit Luck.


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Re: Birth Augur and Lucky Roll

Post by Ogrepuppy » Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:59 pm

Dreamslinger wrote:I knew I saw Joseph Goodman post something about recovering luck in a different thread.
Good call!

Basically, Luck becomes the new (old?) Action Point.

I'm not opposed to that in the least.
Last edited by Ogrepuppy on Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Birth Augur and Lucky Roll

Post by jmucchiello » Wed Jun 15, 2011 5:21 pm

Ogrepuppy wrote:Basically, Luck becomes the new (old?) Action Point, 'officially' introduced in Eberron 3.5 and recently passed on to 4th edition as well.
Action points are older than Eberron. They entered the game with d20 Modern in 2002.

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Re: Birth Augur and Lucky Roll

Post by Ogrepuppy » Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:10 pm

OK, whatever. Edited for exactitude.

Using Luck in a similar fashion would be filled with winning win with a side of WIN.

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Re: Birth Augur and Lucky Roll

Post by smathis » Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:31 am

+1d7 here. I like the idea of the Birth Augur giving a flat bonus and not needing to worry about sliding it up or down when Luck is spent or gained.

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Re: Birth Augur and Lucky Roll

Post by Atlatl Jones » Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:49 pm

smathis wrote:+1d7 here. I like the idea of the Birth Augur giving a flat bonus and not needing to worry about sliding it up or down when Luck is spent or gained.
I do too, and I definitely think that non-Rogues/Halflings should be able to recover Luck as well. Recovering it based on actions in accordance with their alignment, doing particularly heroic actions, and/or deeds helping the cosmic powers.

Another idea is to make you recover 1 point of luck whenever you roll a natural 20 and/or a natural 1.

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