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 Post subject: Re: Regaining Luck
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 8:23 am 
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Excerpted from pages 360-361:

"Luck is a practical mechanism to ensure the characters act within their alignments. Characters who consistently act out of alignment should receive a permanent Luck penalty, which may become steadily worse if they continue to act out of character. Characters who consistently exemplify the virtues of their alignment may, over time, find themselves becoming luckier."

"Curses and calumny can bring changes to luck, as can blessings and benedictions. The judge is encouraged to create storylines that manipulate Luck as both a player incentive and as a plot mechanic."

"Gaining and losing Luck: Regardless of greater plot themes, Luck is gained and lost over the course of adventures as shown on table 7-9."

And, from that table:

"Accomplishing certain objectives that are important to the Eternal Balance between law and chaos and favored by powers greater than man. In game terms, this represents the objectives of individual adventures, and Luck provides a way to reflect that characters are on the right (or wrong) path. In general, actions that strongly support a character’s alignment provide a positive modifier to luck. Specific examples could include: righting a great wrong, aiding on an important quest, defeating an evil creature, etc."

"Faithful obedience to a god, as reflected by a loyal cleric, or a binding oath that is fulfilled, or succeeding on a major quest, or building a major altar or temple." (+1, awarded at times of testing)

"Finding favor with a magical creature of great power, a supernatural creature, the gods of fate, or extraplanar denizens. The magical creatures that supposedly bring good luck often do!"

To my mind, these are strong indications that Luck can increase beyond its initial value. Indeed, there are official published modules for DCC that refer to gaining a permanent point of Luck, and they do not say "restore a point of Luck". It is very clear to me that Luck is not meant to be a static value in this game. If one examines the discussion excerpted from, above, it is pretty clear that there are more than sufficient means for a judge to reduce a Luck score that grows too high.

I will, therefore, allow any character to gain Luck higher than their starting value. However, the restoration of Luck by Halflings and Thieves does not restore bonus Luck for the same reason that they do restore Luck lost to penalties -- their Luck always tries to restore itself to its starting value.

(Anyway, that's the way I roll.....)

_________________
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.


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 Post subject: Re: Regaining Luck
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:06 am 
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Raven_Crowking wrote:

I will, therefore, allow any character to gain Luck higher than their starting value. However, the restoration of Luck by Halflings and Thieves does not restore bonus Luck for the same reason that they do restore Luck lost to penalties -- their Luck always tries to restore itself to its starting value.


Whoa, I was with you all the way but this is an interesting twist!


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 Post subject: Re: Regaining Luck
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 2:45 pm 
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There are no rules I can quote, but from a game balance perspective, I think capping Luck at initial or 18 is essential. If you allow Luck to grow, game will become unbalanced. Imagine a character with 30 Luck (+8 or so bonus).


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 Post subject: Re: Regaining Luck
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 3:45 am 
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Captain Punka wrote:
There are no rules I can quote, but from a game balance perspective, I think capping Luck at initial or 18 is essential. If you allow Luck to grow, game will become unbalanced. Imagine a character with 30 Luck (+8 or so bonus).


Luck bonus, other than whatever it might be at character creation - when results of birth augur are locked into place never to change again - and at 1st level - where the majority of class features using luck bonus (rather than points spent) lock into place their modifiers - doesn't really influence all that much as the rules are written.

A wizard or elf learning a new spell would have a greater chance of beneficial mercurial effect, and clerics will have great modifiers for turning unholy... but that is all.


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 Post subject: Re: Regaining Luck
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 7:02 am 
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Captain Punka wrote:
There are no rules I can quote, but from a game balance perspective, I think capping Luck at initial or 18 is essential. If you allow Luck to grow, game will become unbalanced. Imagine a character with 30 Luck (+8 or so bonus).


How long do you imagine that 30 Luck would last? The judge has more than adequate means to reset or reduce Luck, and has advice that he do so. Luck is not a static stat. It goes up and down over the course of a character's career....even over the course of a single adventure.

IMHO, and IME, Luck can go over 18 without breaking the game. I have had this occur due to mercurial magic, to wit:

Wealful/woeful magic. Each time this spell is cast, there is a random 10%-60% chance that the wizard’s Luck score is altered by its magic. If the wizard’s Luck is affected, it is either raised 1d3 points (50% chance) or lowered 1d3 points (50% chance).

The player realized that the character could always survive a "recovering the body" Luck check, and decided to never cast the spell again, or spend any Luck, lest his Luck be reduced. But no man is fully in control of his own fate, and circumstances in the game are such that, sometimes, you just don't want to fail a check. There is no point in surviving a "recovering the body" check if there is no one left to recover your body because you didn't want to spend the Luck to help them survive several prior encounters.

On top of which, there are already Goodman Games modules with encounters that can reduce Luck, as well as those which grant additional Luck. Changing Luck is part of the game. Sometimes a character is very lucky, sometimes less so. And the advice I quoted in the previous post didn't include all the ways the rules suggest Luck can be reduced due to the way encounters play out. Pages 360-361 are worth reading.

Of course, you can and should do whatever you want in your home game! I am just saying that the game will not break if PC Luck exceeds 18. Allowing Halfling and Thief luck to recover past its initial value, though, is a bad idea, IMHO and IME.


RC

_________________
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.


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 Post subject: Re: Regaining Luck
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 8:11 am 
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Raven_Crowking wrote:
Allowing Halfling and Thief luck to recover past its initial value, though, is a bad idea, IMHO and IME.

RC


Why not allow recovery of luck up to 18 if that is the current value of their luck? I was with you until this one last sentence.


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 Post subject: Re: Regaining Luck
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 8:47 am 
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cthulhudarren wrote:
Raven_Crowking wrote:
Allowing Halfling and Thief luck to recover past its initial value, though, is a bad idea, IMHO and IME.

RC


Why not allow recovery of luck up to 18 if that is the current value of their luck? I was with you until this one last sentence.


Because if you do so, there is no actual reduction of Luck that ever takes place. Luck only escalates. Sooner or later, every Thief and every Halfling will have an 18 Luck (or better, if you allow higher escalation).

Conversely, you could rule that any changes to Luck that do not come from burning Luck by the player are not restored through the special abilities of the Halfling or Thief class. That allows these classes to have the same long-range ups and downs as other classes.

What I think is important to avoid is having penalties automatically recover while allowing bonuses to stack up and then recover to the new bonus level.

I hope that makes sense.

RC

_________________
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.


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 Post subject: Re: Regaining Luck
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 9:01 am 
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I think of Luck points gained above the starting Luck value the same way I think of temporary hit points. Those points sit there until they're used, but they can't be healed. It's just that in this case no one except thieves and halflings heal at all.

And bonus hp *can* take your total above its starting value (hence, the bonus part of the name) or even beyond what could conceivably be the maximum for HP based on class/level/CON mod/etc. So I have no problem with Luck winding up over 18. I'll give my players plenty of reason to spend those points.

And if any of them persist in holding on to an absurdly high Luck for *too* long... well, let's just say that there are things in the universe that don't take kindly to Luck hogs.


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 Post subject: Re: Regaining Luck
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 9:24 am 
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The Venomous Pao wrote:
I think of Luck points gained above the starting Luck value the same way I think of temporary hit points. Those points sit there until they're used, but they can't be healed. It's just that in this case no one except thieves and halflings heal at all.

And bonus hp *can* take your total above its starting value (hence, the bonus part of the name) or even beyond what could conceivably be the maximum for HP based on class/level/CON mod/etc. So I have no problem with Luck winding up over 18. I'll give my players plenty of reason to spend those points.

And if any of them persist in holding on to an absurdly high Luck for *too* long... well, let's just say that there are things in the universe that don't take kindly to Luck hogs.


That's my take too.

_________________
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.


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 Post subject: Re: Regaining Luck
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:07 am 
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Raven_Crowking wrote:
cthulhudarren wrote:
Raven_Crowking wrote:
Allowing Halfling and Thief luck to recover past its initial value, though, is a bad idea, IMHO and IME.

RC


Why not allow recovery of luck up to 18 if that is the current value of their luck? I was with you until this one last sentence.


Because if you do so, there is no actual reduction of Luck that ever takes place. Luck only escalates. Sooner or later, every Thief and every Halfling will have an 18 Luck (or better, if you allow higher escalation).

Conversely, you could rule that any changes to Luck that do not come from burning Luck by the player are not restored through the special abilities of the Halfling or Thief class. That allows these classes to have the same long-range ups and downs as other classes.

What I think is important to avoid is having penalties automatically recover while allowing bonuses to stack up and then recover to the new bonus level.

I hope that makes sense.

RC


But luck does go down. Wield a powerful magic item.. luck penalty. Offend a power or deity, luck goes down. But 18 is the natural max, so I can see a long lived thief being a lucky thief. He'd have to be. I absolutely agree that above 18 it should be like temporary HP.

I do see your point though, I see both sides... It just sucks to have a thief that rolled a 6 initial luck never get overall luckier.


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 Post subject: Re: Regaining Luck
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:11 am 
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The Venomous Pao wrote:
And if any of them persist in holding on to an absurdly high Luck for *too* long... well, let's just say that there are things in the universe that don't take kindly to Luck hogs.


Yeah. Maybe the cap for bonus luck that heals should have something to do with level, like 8 + level. That way if a 2nd level thief starts off with a 8 luck, 10 is the cap that can be healed. If he had a 12 luck to begin with, then NO bonus luck regens at 2nd level.


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 Post subject: Re: Regaining Luck
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:00 am 
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cthulhudarren wrote:
But luck does go down. Wield a powerful magic item.. luck penalty. Offend a power or deity, luck goes down. But 18 is the natural max, so I can see a long lived thief being a lucky thief. He'd have to be. I absolutely agree that above 18 it should be like temporary HP.

I do see your point though, I see both sides... It just sucks to have a thief that rolled a 6 initial luck never get overall luckier.


Remember that Luck only goes down if the Thief or Halfling doesn't just get it back the next day, or the one after that.

If you can offend a power, losing a point of Luck, and tomorrow you get that point back, your Luck will only increase overall. There has to be some limitation on what Luck can be restored. Either, as I do, you can cap restoration at the original value, or you can cap restoration based on how Luck is lost. Unless you want every Halfling and Thief to have an 18+ Luck by the time they reach 3rd-5th level.

I.e., either the on cap on restored Luck is based on how Luck is gained, or how Luck is lost, but there must be some type of cap, or all Luck lost will be regained, and in addition it will be added to by bonus Luck.

Remember, too, that the 6 Luck Thief using my method will get luckier, he'll just spend that Luck like anyone else. And, as he rises in levels, he will still get more and more Luck for each of those points he does have. And, also, he can always Quest to raise his natural Luck. The judge's section suggests that events may/should occur that can change the base Luck rolled as well.

RC

_________________
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.


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 Post subject: Re: Regaining Luck
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:11 pm 
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I thought that insulting a power, breaking a mirror, etc were PERMANENT luck loss. You wouldn't heal that back. But I agree unless your players play dumb their luck will overall trend higher.

I like the idea of 8 + level or your starting luck, whichever is higher, as your heal-able cap.


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 Post subject: Re: Regaining Luck
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:23 pm 
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cthulhudarren wrote:
I like the idea of 8 + level or your starting luck, whichever is higher, as your heal-able cap.


That is certainly a good solution.

The important thing is that there is either some cap, or some form of Luck loss that does not heal.

Daniel

EDIT: There are several Appendix N stories where thief-types seem to have luck that keeps resetting to low values, though. I am thinking specifically of Cudgel the Clever and some of the Leigh Brackett heroes.

_________________
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.


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 Post subject: Re: Regaining Luck
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:05 am 
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I now have the revised second printing, and the method I suggested (regaining luck to initial value) is explicit in those rules.

_________________
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.


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 Post subject: Re: Regaining Luck
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:01 am 
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Raven_Crowking wrote:
I now have the revised second printing, and the method I suggested (regaining luck to initial value) is explicit in those rules.


Oh really? I was under the impression that the only changes to the second printing was inclusion of the errata. I'm curious what other clarifications have been made.


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 Post subject: Re: Regaining Luck
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:09 am 
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bitflipr wrote:
Raven_Crowking wrote:
I now have the revised second printing, and the method I suggested (regaining luck to initial value) is explicit in those rules.


Oh really? I was under the impression that the only changes to the second printing was inclusion of the errata. I'm curious what other clarifications have been made.


I was looking at the Thief entry just yesterday, when one of my 0-lvl parties levelled up in The Ooze Pits of Jonas Gralk, and there it was, plain as day, with an example to ensure that the reader understood.

_________________
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.


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 Post subject: Re: Regaining Luck
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:38 am 
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Raven_Crowking wrote:
I now have the revised second printing, and the method I suggested (regaining luck to initial value) is explicit in those rules.


Good to know!


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 Post subject: Re: Regaining Luck
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:41 am 
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bitflipr wrote:
Raven_Crowking wrote:
I now have the revised second printing, and the method I suggested (regaining luck to initial value) is explicit in those rules.


Oh really? I was under the impression that the only changes to the second printing was inclusion of the errata. I'm curious what other clarifications have been made.


This. What other changes have been made?


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 Post subject: Re: Regaining Luck
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:24 am 
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cthulhudarren wrote:
bitflipr wrote:
Raven_Crowking wrote:
I now have the revised second printing, and the method I suggested (regaining luck to initial value) is explicit in those rules.


Oh really? I was under the impression that the only changes to the second printing was inclusion of the errata. I'm curious what other clarifications have been made.


This. What other changes have been made?


I haven't actually done a cover-to-cover of the second printing yet. Certainly not a cover-to-cover and side-by-side.

_________________
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.


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 Post subject: Re: Regaining Luck
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:30 am 
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Raven_Crowking wrote:
I haven't actually done a cover-to-cover of the second printing yet. Certainly not a cover-to-cover and side-by-side.


Yeah, that would take some doing.


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 Post subject: Re: Regaining Luck
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 10:42 am 
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Raven_Crowking wrote:
I was looking at the Thief entry just yesterday, when one of my 0-lvl parties levelled up in The Ooze Pits of Jonas Gralk, and there it was, plain as day, with an example to ensure that the reader understood.

Hey RC, would you mind quoting what bit of text you are referring to? I can't seem to find any differences in the "Luck and Wits" section between the two editions; perhaps I'm missing something obvious. With that being said, both editions end the section with, "The thief’s Luck score cannot increase past 11," where 11 is the 1st level thief's starting Luck score. I suppose all ambiguity would be removed if the phrase "initial luck score" was substitued for "11."


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 Post subject: Re: Regaining Luck
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:18 am 
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Pesky wrote:
Raven_Crowking wrote:
I was looking at the Thief entry just yesterday, when one of my 0-lvl parties levelled up in The Ooze Pits of Jonas Gralk, and there it was, plain as day, with an example to ensure that the reader understood.

Hey RC, would you mind quoting what bit of text you are referring to? I can't seem to find any differences in the "Luck and Wits" section between the two editions; perhaps I'm missing something obvious. With that being said, both editions end the section with, "The thief’s Luck score cannot increase past 11," where 11 is the 1st level thief's starting Luck score. I suppose all ambiguity would be removed if the phrase "initial luck score" was substitued for "11."


Heh.

I didn't also check the original, so perhaps there was never any ambiguity at all!

I was, indeed, looking at:

Second, unlike other classes, the thief recovers lost Luck to a limited extent. The thief’s Luck score is restored each night by a number of points equal to his level. This process cannot take his Luck score past its natural maximum. For example, a 1st-level thief with starting Luck score of 11 attempts to disable a trap and fails by 2 on his check. He burns 2 points of Luck to add 2d3 to his result, allowing him to succeed. His Luck is now 9. Because the thief is 1st level, his Luck score will be restored by 1 point on the following morning, bringing it back up to 10. Then, 1 additional point will be restored on the following morning, bringing it back to 11. The thief’s Luck score cannot increase past 11.

Unless, of course, one argues that a god or power granting you luck increases your "natural maximum".....? I suppose some might be willing to argue that.


RC

_________________
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.


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 Post subject: Re: Regaining Luck
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:12 pm 
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Raven_Crowking wrote:
Unless, of course, one argues that a god or power granting you luck increases your "natural maximum".....? I suppose some might be willing to argue that.


I thought this was the gist of the argument from the outset. Your "natural" maximum not being a defined term, it begs the question of what happens when the thief or halfling raises his luck value to beyond his "initial" maximum due to permanent bonuses to luck. Is the "natural maximum" then raised?

I still like your (RC) solution best, i.e. the initial maximum is the thief's cap for healing but the thief may otherwise raise his luck beyond that. I may use your (still RC) other suggestion that this cap might change as a result of bonuses and penalties resulting from in-game occurrences (not healing or burning), but that complicates things a bit so I don't know.

_________________
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: Regaining Luck
PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 8:06 am 
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Skyscraper wrote:
Raven_Crowking wrote:
Unless, of course, one argues that a god or power granting you luck increases your "natural maximum".....? I suppose some might be willing to argue that.


I thought this was the gist of the argument from the outset. Your "natural" maximum not being a defined term, it begs the question of what happens when the thief or halfling raises his luck value to beyond his "initial" maximum due to permanent bonuses to luck. Is the "natural maximum" then raised?


I think you are right Sky. This is the question at hand.

I also think the rules simply don't detail out the specifics of how is meant to work and it's left to the individual judge to run his game the way he wants to. I would expect that if one way or the other was significany unbalancing, it would have come to light during playtesting and there would be specific verbage to make it clear that one way is preferred.


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