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 Post subject: Burning LUCK before a roll ??
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:13 pm 
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According to the rules, p.91 a character can burn Luck points before or after his roll.

I'm unable to think of a single situation where a character would choose to burn Luck before his roll, given the choice.
In order to improve drama at the table, I'm thinking of home-ruling that Luck points must be burned before any roll, unless the life of the character lies in the balance.

Any thought on that ?


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 Post subject: Re: Burning LUCK before a roll ??
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:03 pm 
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sheriffharry wrote:
According to the rules, p.91 a character can burn Luck points before or after his roll.

I'm unable to think of a single situation where a character would choose to burn Luck before his roll, given the choice.
In order to improve drama at the table, I'm thinking of home-ruling that Luck points must be burned before any roll, unless the life of the character lies in the balance.

Any thought on that ?


Yeah, it is hard for me to think of a burn-luck-before-roll situation as well. I like the concept behind your house rule, but worry that defining when a character's life "lies in the balance" could be tough to define, and very subjective. For example, you may enforce your pre-roll rule when a character is facing an equally matched monster, only to roll a massive crit for the monster that kills the character. The player of that character could have a different interpretation of whether his life was in the balance or not. As an alternative, you could define only certain types of rolls to be eligible for a post-roll luck burning, e.g., damage rolls. This would eliminate any ambiguity between you and the player (if that is a concern).


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 Post subject: Re: Burning LUCK before a roll ??
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:08 pm 
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Pesky wrote:
sheriffharry wrote:
According to the rules, p.91 a character can burn Luck points before or after his roll.

I'm unable to think of a single situation where a character would choose to burn Luck before his roll, given the choice.
In order to improve drama at the table, I'm thinking of home-ruling that Luck points must be burned before any roll, unless the life of the character lies in the balance.

Any thought on that ?


Yeah, it is hard for me to think of a burn-luck-before-roll situation as well. I like the concept behind your house rule, but worry that defining when a character's life "lies in the balance" could be tough to define, and very subjective. For example, you may enforce your pre-roll rule when a character is facing an equally matched monster, only to roll a massive crit for the monster that kills the character. The player of that character could have a different interpretation of whether his life was in the balance or not. As an alternative, you could define only certain types of rolls to be eligible for a post-roll luck burning, e.g., damage rolls. This would eliminate any ambiguity between you and the player (if that is a concern).


Right.
I used my house-rule on Luck for tonight's game and this exact problem surfaced.

As you suggest, I'll simply ban post-roll Luck burning for to-hit and spell checks. Easy as that.
(Apart from that, the whole party was almost wiped out by plants... but that's another story!)


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 Post subject: Re: Burning LUCK before a roll ??
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:53 pm 
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I noticed that too when reading the rule book and thought it silly. However, after reading suggestions on encouraging spirit of intent over interpretation of rules I've come to realize that something like this could easily be taken advantage of to enhance some roleplaying aspects:

If a player decides to burn luck before their role and they are successful, perhaps the gods would admire the risk and make the outcome extraordinarily successful. Some thoughts:
-the burned luck could apply to an additional subsequent roll
-half of the burned luck returns
-character is granted an automatic saving throw success in the future
-a critical hit is given


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 Post subject: Re: Burning LUCK before a roll ??
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:37 pm 
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Good point.
On the other hand, I don't want the game to feel like an never-ending supply of cereal-box's surprises. Burning Luck should be very painful and very desperate.

(BTW, There are NO surprise in cereal box in Canada since 2006 because of some stupid law or something. What is the cereal box situation in the US ??)


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 Post subject: Re: Burning LUCK before a roll ??
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:48 pm 
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In the suggestion I provided, if the player burned luck beforehand and they still failed that's a bit of a double-loss for them. It does make burning luck before the roll raise the stakes somewhat.

Another suggestion could be: any burned luck beyond what is necessary gets added as restored hit points.

I'm from Canada too and I didn't even know that! Interesting.


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 Post subject: Re: Burning LUCK before a roll ??
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:04 pm 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

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I considered a x2 penalty for burning luck after a roll to encourage players to burn luck before rolling (could go x3 or x4 even). I would have liked to have made it a x2 bonus before a roll but that makes the thief problematic in my opinion (their luck die is too powerful at higher levels in my opinion).


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 Post subject: Re: Burning LUCK before a roll ??
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 4:25 am 
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My players are scared to burn their Luck as is - the view being that a low Luck means running into more bad Luck than good, and with it being directly tied to how much of a chance they have to survive getting in over their head it is justified that they treat it so greedily.

If I were to tell them they had to burn luck before a roll (whether that was all that was allowed, or just that being a less costly option than burning after) the result would be a near-complete change in behavior: The whole group would never burn luck again unless they were in a situation where they felt they absolutely had to succeed at one particular roll and could not accomplish that success unless they burnt Luck.

Without being able to burn Luck in full view of the Luck needed and the result it will gain... that's almost the same effect as just removing Luck burning all together, at least from the classes that don't automatically gain Luck back.


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 Post subject: Re: Burning LUCK before a roll ??
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 6:31 am 
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Agree w/ TND... I don't think this rule is problematic and the way it's written was probably the result of playtesting focus groups. I'd be willing to be a fair amount of money that they started out with having to say you're burning luck before a roll. Not sure what Beta rules said, I'm a latecomer. But the way it's written it does look like that was very intentionally done, and probably for the exact reason TND pointed out (and which I can anecdotally confirm w/r/t my group's one session thus far).

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RoM pbp:
Hamun Ry (Wiz 4)
Str 10 Agi 15 (+1) Sta 11 Per 11 Int 17 (+2) Luc 10 (Unholy House). Align: C. AC: 14. HP: 13. Melee +1, Ranged +2. Crit: d8, I. Save: Ref +5, Fort +3, Will +4.
Spells: 1: Choking Cloud, Comprehend Languages, Detect Magic (odd crystal growths), Magic Missile (mirror images), Runic Alphabet (Mortal) (ravenously hungry), Ventriloquism (rain of frogs)
2: Detect Invisible, Levitate (extremely difficult, d14), Mirror Image (20% chance to raise/lower luck by 1d3 points).
Equip: Ring of the Sand Djinn: +2 AC/saves, Invisibility for 1min/spellburn point, or unmake for great, unknown effect. Padded Armor, Longsword, Longbow, quiver w/20 steel-tipped arrows, 10 silver-tipped arrows, backpack, spellbook, quill and ink, sturdy parchment (10 sheets), 5 days rations, high leather boots, belt w/ belt pouch, gray robe, dark gray hooded cloak. Also carries 3 small mechanical toys: wind-up mouse, wooden puzzle cube, small jewelry box that plays a little tune.


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 Post subject: Re: Burning LUCK before a roll ??
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 6:56 am 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2012 5:28 pm
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Location: East Coast, USA
I think it depends on how liberal you plan to be with giving luck points back to characters at the end of adventures. I've told my players that for the classes that don't regen their own luck, that I am going to be stingy giving back luck at the end of adventures. It won't be an automatic bonus...They will need to have done something to earn it.

And I've mentioned that for all classes, if luck gets too low, the character will start to be 'unlucky', though I'm not sure how I'm going to play that out. Maybe a step down the die chain for all rolls when luck gets below certain levels. I want even the theif and halfling to have to think about the perils of burning luck to often.

Though in a way, that is already built into the system as players will be less likely to burn luck as it gets lower, as they always want to "save it for when it's important" thus failing more often on mundane rolls that they might have burned luck on when they were flush with it. i'll have to think on this some more...


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 Post subject: Re: Burning LUCK before a roll ??
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 5:29 pm 
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Personally, I think the best way to look at it is that a player who announces they want to burn luck on the roll before they roll the dice isn't breaking any rules - but there is no requirement they do so. The game works fine with all luck burning happening after rolls, something about the rule also allowing a pre-emptive announcement seems to induce people into wanting to make more of this than it is.


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 Post subject: Re: Burning LUCK before a roll ??
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:24 am 
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Steely-Eyed Heathen-Slayer
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I would not houserule the way you propose, but take this opinion from one who has yet to play the game.

The way I see it:

For non-thieves and non-halflings:
  • burnt luck is a big thing. Burnt luck doesn't come back unless you give them some luck at the end of an adventure or they do something really special, so it's rare to get some back. The reduced luck score will negatively affect your rolls from there on.
  • most burnt luck called out before a roll is made will be useless. Either your d20 roll will be high enough anyway, or your d20 roll will be low enough that even your burnt luck won't change anything. For that burnt luck to change the roll, you need to roll your d20 (or other die) in that small array of numbers where the burnt luck will become relevant. I don't see that being very relevant for a player to try that. Especially looking back at the first point, burning luck is a big thing.

For thieves and halflings:

Burning luck is their schtick. If you're nerfing this mechanic, you're essentially nerfing these two classes with respect to the others. It would be like deciding that everyone may use Mighty Deeds of Arms: the intent might be to increase drama at the table, but in effect you'd be increasing the power of every class except the warrior and the dwarf, the result being that you'd be nerfing the warrior and dwarf with respect to the other classes. Or it would be like saying that spellburn is more expensive to use, you'd then be nerfing the spellcasting classes, even if the intent is to increase drama.

As a side note, if you plan on playing per the rules regarding burning luck, I have read on this forum a poster, who has experience with playing the game, writing that he even goes so far as to tell the player by how much a roll was missed, so that the player may know how much luck he needs to burn to have success. I find that idea appealing and I plan on doing that. Otherwise, since the player may burn luck at any time after a roll, I assume you might end up with the following exchange:

PLAYER: I roll 17
DM: you miss
PLAYER: I burn 1 luck
DM: you still miss
PLAYER: I burn 1 more luck
DM: you still miss
PLAYER: I burn 1 more luck
and so on until the player succeeds.

I prefer:

PLAYER: I roll 17
DM: you miss, but not by much, only by 2.
PLAYER: I use my luck to make that hit a success. I burn 2 luck!
DM: You hit the critter, roll damage!

_________________
Maledict Brothbreath, level 4 warrior, STR 16 (+2) AGI 7 (-1) STA 12 PER 9 INT 10 LUCK 15 (+1), AC: 16 Refl: +1 Fort: +2 Will: +1; lawful; Armor of the Lion and Lily's Blade.

Brother Sufferus, level 4 cleric, STR 13 (+1) AGI 15 (+1) STA 11 PER 13 (+1) INT 10 LUCK 9, AC: 11 (13 if wounded, 15 if down to half hit points), Refl: +3 Fort: +2 Will: +3, chaotic, Robe of the Faith, Scourge of the Maimed One, Darts of Pain.


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 Post subject: Re: Burning LUCK before a roll ??
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:43 pm 
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Cold-Blooded Diabolist

Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:36 am
Posts: 525
Skyscraper wrote:
As a side note, if you plan on playing per the rules regarding burning luck, I have read on this forum a poster, who has experience with playing the game, writing that he even goes so far as to tell the player by how much a roll was missed, so that the player may know how much luck he needs to burn to have success.


I do that as well - it goes right along with me rolling the dice and a player seeing that the die is a 12 and me saying "does a 12 hit your AC?" or "Looks like he got an 18 to hit" telling them the bonus that a monster has to its attacks, they get to know the monster's AC too... though I don't exactly call out what the AC is at the beginning of the fight.

It actually allows the player to be more accurate with their in-character reactions - if they know the monster has a +8 to hit their 14 AC, they are going to react to this obviously extremely dangerous threat where if they only knew that they were getting hit and their AC is 14 they might think nothing of it, and if they know that they need a very high roll to hit they can react to the "nigh-invulnerable" threat instead of continuing to swing hoping that just 1 higher result will do it.


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 Post subject: Re: Burning LUCK before a roll ??
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:51 pm 
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Wild-Eyed Zealot

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Can you burn luck on a mighty deeds roll? At low levels, it seems to me that MD rolls would be one place burning luck before the roll would usually be worth it, since the extent of the deed's success increases with each point by which you exceed 3, and burning 2 points would give you an automatic deed (assuming you hit).

I think the notion behind allowing the luck burn before or after the roll is just that it would contradict some role-play elements for no good reason if the rule said, "You must always burn luck after the roll has been made."

For instance, the player of a 3-intelligence thief or halfling might get a big kick out of perpetually announcing his luck burns before rolls were made (probably to the chagrin of his fellow party-members). Allowing him to burn luck before the roll helps convey the idea that the character knows he's lucky, but is too dumb to know when he should trust his luck and when he shouldn't.


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 Post subject: Re: Burning LUCK before a roll ??
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:38 pm 
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I am pretty sure that Action Die and Deed Die are included within the definition of "roll" as it pertains to "Any character can permanently burn Luck to give a one-time bonus to a roll." That is how I run things at least - not as a roll of an Action Die and also a roll of a Deed Die, but a roll of Action Die+Deed Die, so the Luck burn bonus would apply to the total and not to the Deed success level... much like how Mr. Goodman said that the high-level Warrior & Dwarf attack bonuses don't add into Deed success rate or level (such as d10+2 does not mean automatic success at Deeds).


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 Post subject: Re: Burning LUCK before a roll ??
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:31 am 
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Cold-Hearted Immortal
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I think that's right. The Deed die is what determines if the Deed succeeds. The number can't be modified, but the total of the total attack roll can have luck added to it. Which will improve the chances that the Deed is successful, if it improves your chance of hitting an opponent.

_________________
Gnome Boy (a.k.a. "Jon") • DCC play-tester @ DDC 35, Feb 2011. • Beta DL 2111, 7:00 AM PT, 8 June 11.
Playing RPGs since 1977 • Quasi-occasional member of the Legion of 8th-Level Fighters - Holds the power to play gnomes at will!

Here Be DCC Monsters...

General Yoros, Warrior, Str 13, Agl 8 (10), Stm 17, Per 13, Int 11, Lck 8; Law, HP 39, AC 17, R+2, F+4, W+2, band/shld, warhammer, longsword, longbow, pitchfork

Han Dee, (Weaver) Neutral Thief, Str 10, Agi 13, Stm 11, Per 11, Int 15, Lck 14, AC 13 (Leather), HP 25, Luck Die d6, Backstab 3, Sneak Silently 10, Hide In Shadows 9, Pick Pocket 10, Climb Sheer 10, Pick Lock 9, Find Trap 9, Disable Trap 9, Forge Doc 10, Disguise 3, Read Lang 5, Handle Poison 3, Cast Scroll d14+2, birth augur (Born under the loom) +1 to all skill checks (including thief skills), Banepicks (auto pick lock/disable trap, but lose 1d3 random ability loss, if a 3 then 1 pt is perm)


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 Post subject: Re: Burning LUCK before a roll ??
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 11:19 am 
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Tight-Lipped Warlock

Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:52 pm
Posts: 1084
A house rule I've used (and one that thus far has remained in TA/TG) is that a player can spend as many Luck points as she wants BEFORE a roll. But only 1 Luck point after a roll is made.

This has worked pretty well thus far. TA/TG has another minor modification to Luck point expenditures (I don't want to give it all away!). And by minor, I mean it can be stated in less than 15 words. So really. Minor. But it's had a significant impact on how effective Luck points are.

Luck in TA/TG is also generally more important. In my DCC games, players often blew through Luck -- not caring so much when it came back or anything. In TA/TG, I've actually had players more willing to gamble on potentially dying than spend even 1 Luck point.

Luck is one of the things that's come out really well in TA/TG playtests. It tends to reveal itself as hugely important when the players least expect it. This is due to Luck being crucial to key things like not dying as well as DCC's Luck check popping up in a couple of places.


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 Post subject: Re: Burning LUCK before a roll ??
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 12:19 pm 
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Steely-Eyed Heathen-Slayer
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What's TA/TG?

_________________
Maledict Brothbreath, level 4 warrior, STR 16 (+2) AGI 7 (-1) STA 12 PER 9 INT 10 LUCK 15 (+1), AC: 16 Refl: +1 Fort: +2 Will: +1; lawful; Armor of the Lion and Lily's Blade.

Brother Sufferus, level 4 cleric, STR 13 (+1) AGI 15 (+1) STA 11 PER 13 (+1) INT 10 LUCK 9, AC: 11 (13 if wounded, 15 if down to half hit points), Refl: +3 Fort: +2 Will: +3, chaotic, Robe of the Faith, Scourge of the Maimed One, Darts of Pain.


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 Post subject: Re: Burning LUCK before a roll ??
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:41 pm 
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Hard-Bitten Adventurer
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Skyscraper wrote:
What's TA/TG?


Transylvanian Adventures/Grimoire, a future 3PP (Third Party Product) DCC expansion.


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 Post subject: Re: Burning LUCK before a roll ??
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 3:25 pm 
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Steely-Eyed Heathen-Slayer
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Ok, that fits a bit more into the topic than my google search about "tg rpg" that suggested "transgender role-playing games"...

_________________
Maledict Brothbreath, level 4 warrior, STR 16 (+2) AGI 7 (-1) STA 12 PER 9 INT 10 LUCK 15 (+1), AC: 16 Refl: +1 Fort: +2 Will: +1; lawful; Armor of the Lion and Lily's Blade.

Brother Sufferus, level 4 cleric, STR 13 (+1) AGI 15 (+1) STA 11 PER 13 (+1) INT 10 LUCK 9, AC: 11 (13 if wounded, 15 if down to half hit points), Refl: +3 Fort: +2 Will: +3, chaotic, Robe of the Faith, Scourge of the Maimed One, Darts of Pain.


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 Post subject: Re: Burning LUCK before a roll ??
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 3:30 pm 
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Deft-Handed Cutpurse
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Skyscraper wrote:
Ok, that fits a bit more into the topic than my google search about "tg rpg" that suggested "transgender role-playing games"...


Hah! I didn't know that acronym either, although, now that you mention it, Dracula masquerading as Vampira could be interesting... :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Burning LUCK before a roll ??
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 3:38 pm 
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Cold-Hearted Immortal
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Skyscraper wrote:
Ok, that fits a bit more into the topic than my google search about "tg rpg" that suggested "transgender role-playing games"...

Wait -- I haven't been keeping up -- isn't that TA's Exotic class???

_________________
Gnome Boy (a.k.a. "Jon") • DCC play-tester @ DDC 35, Feb 2011. • Beta DL 2111, 7:00 AM PT, 8 June 11.
Playing RPGs since 1977 • Quasi-occasional member of the Legion of 8th-Level Fighters - Holds the power to play gnomes at will!

Here Be DCC Monsters...

General Yoros, Warrior, Str 13, Agl 8 (10), Stm 17, Per 13, Int 11, Lck 8; Law, HP 39, AC 17, R+2, F+4, W+2, band/shld, warhammer, longsword, longbow, pitchfork

Han Dee, (Weaver) Neutral Thief, Str 10, Agi 13, Stm 11, Per 11, Int 15, Lck 14, AC 13 (Leather), HP 25, Luck Die d6, Backstab 3, Sneak Silently 10, Hide In Shadows 9, Pick Pocket 10, Climb Sheer 10, Pick Lock 9, Find Trap 9, Disable Trap 9, Forge Doc 10, Disguise 3, Read Lang 5, Handle Poison 3, Cast Scroll d14+2, birth augur (Born under the loom) +1 to all skill checks (including thief skills), Banepicks (auto pick lock/disable trap, but lose 1d3 random ability loss, if a 3 then 1 pt is perm)


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 Post subject: Re: Burning LUCK before a roll ??
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 8:00 pm 
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Sorry I'm a little late chiming in on this but I wanted to mention another system that came to mind when reading the Luck rules

If you've played the James Bond RPG by Victory Games (OOP now) it had a mechanic called hero points. Luck in DCC RPG reminds me a lot of the hero point system. In Bond a Rookie character had fewer than a "OO" and once used up they could be earned by amazing skill rolls, good roleplaying, daring "Bond-like" actions, etc. In game they could be spent to change the level of success of a roll or even make an enemies success a failure, making a killing shot a graze or a miss. You could also spend them to attempt amazing feats like jumping from a building to a parking garage while being chased. You could spend as many as you wanted to before or after attempts.

Like Luck in DCC most points were spent after an attempt to change results. But there were times that players would do so beforehand. One case was when making Disguise attempts. The GM would make the roll in secret and the player would have to find out how successful his disguise was by coming into contact with NPCs and playing it out. If a player wanted to ensure his disguise was at least "acceptable" - the lowest kind of success in the Bond game he could spend a point without knowing the rolls actual outcome. He could spend more points if he wanted to increase the success of the disguise. So in DCC there may be the same kind of skill rolls that come up where a player won't be told the outcome afterwards and wants to better his chances of a success.

I know that in Bond hero points were pretty precious and the smart player learned to save them for the climatic encounters - often hard to do -I imagine that DCC and Luck will be much the same over many sessions. Some of the tenses moments in the Bond game were when a player had failed and you'd ask them - do you want to spend a point to .... ?

Any Bond RPG fans out there that made the same connection?


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 Post subject: Re: Burning LUCK before a roll ??
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:04 pm 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

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Location: The Toxic Swamp
I've burned luck before a roll. During GenCon I burned 3 Luck on an important attack, rolled a four on my d20 and a 1, 2, and 1 on my 3d6 for luck. Still failed and then my brain was eaten by possessed children. So, while it may not always be effective, you can for sure burn before the roll. Thanks for the horrible death of my Thief, Harley!

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See my gaming blog at orcsamongus!


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