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iac249

Luck

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In developing an RPG, it is common for characters to have attributes. I am wondering if "Luck" would make an acceptable one. It is possible to have a character score that determines how lucky a character can be, but I am wondering if this is an attribute that players can accept or if they would generally prefer something more like "perception" or some other attribute that makes things seem less random.

 

Comments welcome.

 

Corey

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As SiCrane said, Luck is found in quite a few games, and you can be pretty creative in how to apply it.

 

In some, Luck has a small affect on skills. It's usually much less of a bonus than you would get for a 'core' attribute, but it affects all of them. Or it can affect random events like loot drops and monster encounters. Many use it as a major component of critical hit formulas.

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Luck often affects chances for critical attacks, and weights a little on all the other skill's values (ie, chance to knockdown, chance to miss, chance to paralyze, and so on).

 

You could go further from that. Chance that a normally locked door appears unlocked, chance that a trap will fail to activate, chance of finding particular stuff in loot, chance of the final boss dropping dead by a heart attack! :P

 

It would be fun to play a character that succeeds at everything by pure luck alone :D

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Luck often is like a (hidden) allround attribute which has a little influence on everything, but less than other things. It could affect lucky hits, lucky dodges, own critical hit rate, enemy critical hit rate, could be bonus to elemental resistances, chance of opening a chest, chance of not being hit by an explosion, chance a merchant offers better items, chance of higher gold drop, ...

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Thanks, everyone. Essentially I am working on a mobile game that is an adventure book/interactive fiction. The player can adjust character attributes before play, and in order to help make the story less linear, a "luck" check is needed to branch certain choices that don't fall into the category of other attributes such as physical prowess or perception. The luck check may determine if there is an encounter in the next turn.

 

I was originally thinking players may not accept it as a visible attribute they may choose to adjust, because they would prefer something more concrete like "perception" or "physical prowess".

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If you want to make it apparent that it's doing good, just give feedback on the fact that a certain choice depended on a good luck score. For example, Fallout Vegas (and probably also Fallout 3 but I'm not 100% positive right now) put [ATTRIBUTE] before conversation choices that were enabled by those attributes (also for skills). At one point a robot asks you for a password and one of the choices, IIRC, if your luck is high enough is "[LUCK] Ice cream" which turns out to be the right password. For extra fun that choice is also enabled if your intelligence is low enough.
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Just want to say that when it comes to luck attributes in RPGs I've generally felt like it's too invisible. Usually you don't really know when your choice for a luck attribute is coming into play so how do you know that your choice has any meaning? The only time you get a sense of it tends to be in gambling places and then it can seem like the attribute is interfering with enjoyment of a mini-game that's meant to be a bit of relief from the task at hand.

The only time I really remember luck being interesting I think was Fallout 2. My character had a low luck attribute in the first place and then the pariah dog joined up. I seem to recall winning more battles as the result of weapons being destroyed or exploding in the hands of the enemy.

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as a gamer, hardcore competitive gamers don't like luck to be influencing more than 0.01~5% . the more luck there is the less skill-based it is. although we'd be happy to land a critical hit and change the tide of the battle, but if it happens too often we'd only feel like, "if we lose its cuz we didn't have luck, nothing to be learned from; if we win its cuz of luck, nothing to be proud of". 

 

as for majority gamers, they like slot machine basis and skill doesn't matter. rig the system so they would only win after an amount of repetitive attempts, and make sure no one wins the jackpot right after someone else did. there's a specific mathematical formula for stimulating the players that would drive them nuts and pay the most, but i do not possess that knowledge.

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Rits,

 

That's exactly what I was thinking, and perhaps I should have clarified the game type in the beginning. I'm working on an "adventure gamebook" for Android; basically interactive fiction with character skill attributes that are used to help determine outcomes. Luck plays a huge factor in games like AD&D, given its dice roles (or random integer values), but Luck was never a character attribute that was used to determine encounters or whether or not a door was randomly locked or not.

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In the gamebook, not every move a player can choose will require a skill role. Sometimes they just have to click "Next" to advance the story, and the story can be made less linear by introducing a randomness on what might happen next. I was thinking of whether or not this could be a visible "Luck" attribute, with a "lucky" character having a better chance of what would essentially be less or easier challenges in forks of the story line. 

 

In thinking about this, it seems like luck in this case may be redundant to other attributes. A lucky character may have less encounters and therefore rely less on a Strength attribute, while an unlucky character will need a higher Strength attribute to be successful.

 

Perhaps I've just answered my own question? happy.png

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I would be careful not to confuse the character attribute luck with the RL luck needed when players get dependent on the pseudo random number generator.

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