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Wavinator

Luck As A Stat?

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Love it? Hate it? Got a better idea on how to do it? What do you think about a Luck Stat being used to modify combat success, skill tests, chance to find game generated gear and even the chance to find NPCs in the world? I didn't care for it's use in Morrowind because I had no appreciable idea of what it did or how much one or a few points were. But since I'm planning on procedurally generating just about everything in my own game I've started wondering about the wisdom of using Luck in a game that depends heavily on randomization. I can see very well what high luck would mean, but I wonder about low luck. High luck could affect chance gossip you hear, or let you walk through dangerous areas with no or minimal encounters. It could even affect the chance to meet special NPCs, like an entrepreneur who's looking for someone just like you. But bad luck? Weapon jamming, equipment malfunction? Not sure. It should be interesting, not annoying. Being framed for murder, or cases of mistaken identity are to me more interesting than things breaking. Even showing up at the wrong place at the wrong time (in the middle of a tense drug deal) would be better because it would make you try to play the game prepared-- maybe you never leave home without your trusty autocannon and nanosplicer for those cases when your bad luck strikes. By default Luck would be a neutral stat. Like GURPS, you'd have to pay character points to have higher than average luck, and you'd get points in other areas for being unlucky. Thoughts?

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But bad luck? Weapon jamming, equipment malfunction? Not sure. It should be interesting, not annoying. Being framed for murder, or cases of mistaken identity are to me more interesting than things breaking. Even showing up at the wrong place at the wrong time (in the middle of a tense drug deal) would be better because it would make you try to play the game prepared-- maybe you never leave home without your trusty autocannon and nanosplicer for those cases when your bad luck strikes.


I like this section. You could use luck to calculate items the character finds, your game generated gear. Take the luck score and multiply it by what the character could find and give items that equal the total worth calculated.

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I think luck is a stat no one would miss. For one thing it's a "self-serving" stat. Example: In any of the GBA Final Fantasy releases you can view a beastiary, but I don't believe any of the monsters have the Luck "stat." Luck can only ever help or hurt you, the player.

Implementing the stat properly would be far too complicated because how would you make luck influence everything and not make players wonder "Why... just why?" Example: "Well, I was lucky enough to run into the infinity plus one sword toting uber-goblin deathsquad but they were unlucky to not be carrying any of the sword at the time. I had an easier time of defeating them but in vain. Guess I'm not so lucky."

I'd say just go with pools of random drops/events/encounters (not necessarily getting sucked into an encounter on a world map but just what enemies or npcs are walking around at the time). Keep the pools separate and only in places where they would make sense in the context of whatever settings in the game you are currently traveling through.

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It could work as a resource rather than a stat: rub the space rabit paw on Klaxoon 5 and you stock up luck - it then wears off in time and when "used" avoiding harmful encounters or finding better treasure. The same, insult some deity to get enough bad luck to encounter some alien monster you hunt - suffer the side effects for a good while after.

[Edited by - Diodor on March 12, 2010 5:25:16 PM]

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Original post by Wavinator
High luck could affect chance gossip you hear, or let you walk through dangerous areas with no or minimal encounters. It could even affect the chance to meet special NPCs, like an entrepreneur who's looking for someone just like you.
But bad luck? Weapon jamming, equipment malfunction? Not sure.

Luck should come into play whenever there's anything random going on in the game. With good luck, increase the chances of the desirable outcome occurring.

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Rather than a stat I rather see luck as either a set of traits or an expendable point system. As a point system certain rare actions would reward you with a luck you could spend at any time. Spending a luck point gives you the best possible outcome in that situation. A lucky dodge allowing you survive a normally fatal injury unharmed. Finding a winning lottery ticket on the ground, etc..

Or as set of traits along “Lucky ...” You might take Lucky in Love. Lucky in life, Lucky Shot, etc.. These traits could be as simple under the hood of moving the default place on the event table up a few notches assuming you have event tables.

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Luck doesn't give the game designer or the game player control over the experience. If the game designer wants there to be an 80% chance of goblins then why not just go with 80% instead of 60% + 0.3 * Luck? In FF6 the moogle charm item makes you immune to random encounters. This gives the game player a feeling of power. He can equip it to affect his play experience. This is a lot different than putting a couple of extra points into luck during character creation.

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What if luck was more of a fluctuating thing? If events are generated for the player every so often then depending on where the player's "luck biorythm" is that entrepreneur is either going to become your best friend, worst nightmare, or somewhere in between.

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I think that luck should not be a skill you can put points towards, it just seems silly. I NEVER use the luck attribute in any RPG game because I get more out of bumping up my other attributes.

I DO think that luck should be affected by some sortof Karma, or actions that you take throughout a game.
So if you have good Karma, you are a luckier character, and vice-versa.

However this would sortof put people off wanting to play the evil role, so luck shouldn't be used to affect your other attributes, but to set of an event that is in the favour of your side of Karma.

For example, having a really good Karma would maybe randomly spawn a life giving fairy, which permanently gives you more life if you catch the fairy.

Where as having a really bad Karma or an evil character, A demon might appear, you have to fight this demon, if it defeats you, you are only knocked unconcious and the demon disappears, however if you defeat the demon, you get some kind of random special weapon to do more evil with.

Things like that I think would make luck a bit more interesting. Right now, the luck attribute in games just seems like a random context sensitive stats booster.

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I don't much like having luck as a stat. I hated it in Morrowind (and all Fallout games) for the same reasons as stated above - it's unclear how much it affects the game, and it takes away valuable points that could be better spent elsewhere. Perhaps more importantly, luck is not a constant - you can have bad luck one day, good luck on another occasion, but having "constantly good luck" is a bit far-fetched. I can see how you could improve your charisma, strength, dexterity, wisdom, or even intelligence through hard training, but luck?

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