Luck (House Rule)

Luck was a major factor in the Fighting Fantasy™ series of books. The d20 system includes a range of skills that are used where Luck was in the original books. However, we wanted to keep the overall tone & feel of the Fighting Fantasy™ books so we have included Luck as a new Ability score.

This scenario is aimed at small parties of players (mini-groups). The inclusion of Luck gives them an edge that makes up for their lack of numbers. Players should be encouraged to use Luck as often as possible. It may make the difference between success and failure!

To reflect this, it is easier for characters to recover Luck than it is for other Ability scores, methods of restoring Luck are given under the heading: Restoring Luck.

New Ability Score

Luck is determined in the same way as other Ability scores. There are several options available (see DMG Chapter 2, Ability Scores Generation). The maximum possible starting Luck score is 18 regardless of race.

A character's starting Luck score can only be increased by magical means or by spending attribute points gained as the character becomes more experienced.

Luck will be treated as an Ability score in every respect i.e. lost Ability scores are regained at the rate of one per day (see DMG Chapter 3, Running the Game, Ability Score Loss).

Standard Point Buy Method

Because there are now 7 Ability scores instead of the normal 6, the amount of starting points is increased to 30 rather than 25 (See DMG Chapter 2, Ability Scores Generation, Standard Point Buy)

Using Luck

A character may use Luck to change or influence events, reducing the damage taken from an enemies attack for instance, or increasing their chance of picking a lock. Luck can be used to modify a characters skill checks, saving throws, attack rolls, and melee / ranged damage dealt. You can also use your Luck to reduce the damage you take from an enemies attack.

Luck checks must be resolved BEFORE the action that they are affecting is undertaken (exception: reducing damage taken in melee / ranged). The result of the Luck check is applied as a modifier to the action. You may only check Luck once per action undertaken and the result only affects that action.

A characters Luck score is temporarily reduced by 1 every time Luck is checked.

Luck cannot be used to give a character feats or special abilities that she would not normally have. i.e. a fighter cannot use Luck to allow her to turn / rebuke undead.

Luck Difficulty Class

Luck is checked against a Difficulty Class (DC). (See PHB Chapter 4, Skills, Using Skills, Difficulty Class) The base DC for Luck is 10.

Ability Luck check = D20 + Ability Modifier (Luck) against DC10

A total roll of 10 will give you a +1 bonus. For every 2 points over 10 that you roll you gain +1 to the outcome that Luck was used to affect (i.e. 10 = +1; 12 = +2; 18 = +5 etc…).

If the Character fails her Luck check by up to 5, there is no penalty. However, if the character fails by 6 or more, she will suffer a -2 penalty to the outcome that Luck was used to affect.

Example: Ellion G'aarak decides to test her Luck to help her fight 2 Orcs by giving a modifier to hit them. She rolls a D20 and adds her Luck ability modifier getting a total of 13, success! Ellion now adds +2 to her next attack roll against the Orcs and her Luck is temporarily reduced by 1.

Later in the same fight Ellion decides to test her Luck to add to her attack roll again, this time she rolls a total of 4. Ellion has failed to make the required DC10 by 6. Ellion now suffers a -2 penalty to her attack roll and her Luck is temporarily reduced by 1. If she had rolled a total of 7, she would still have failed in her Luck check but not suffered a penalty. However, her Luck would still have been temporarily reduced by 1.

Minimum Luck Score

When a character's Luck score reaches 0 they can no longer choose to test their Luck. Luck cannot be lowered further than 0, and cannot be used again until it is raised to at least 1.

Saving Throws & Luck

Luck can be used to modify the result of saving throw using the same method as described above (under the heading: Luck Difficulty Class). The character makes a Luck check and than applies the result as a modifier to their saving throw.

Skills & Luck

Luck can be used to modify the result of skill checks using the same method as described above (under the heading: Luck Difficulty Class). The character makes a Luck check and then applies the result as a modifier to their skill check.

e.g. Rhana Quinn has fallen off a rickety bridge into a fast flowing river. The DM determines that a skill (Swim) check (DC15) is required for Rhana to safely swim to the nearby riverbank. Rhana is not a good swimmer having only a skill of 1, which is reduced by -7 because of her equipment (-1 per 5 lbs carried). This means that the best she can hope to do is 20 + 1 - 7 = 14 meaning she can't succeed! She decides to use her Luck to help her reach the riverbank safely. Rhana rolls a D20 getting 15 and adds her Luck ability modifier (+2 from an Ability score of 14) for a total of 17. She has succeeded by 7 so she may add +4 to her Swim check. She now makes her Swim skill check D20 + 1 (Swim skill) -7 (equipment carried) +4 (Luck). She rolls a 17 giving her a final result of 15. Rhana just manages to scramble to the riverbank. Rhana reduces her Luck temporarily by 1.

If Rhana had failed her Luck check, for instance rolling a 3 on her D20 (+2 Ability modifier) = 5, her Swim check would then have been D20 +1 (Swim skill) -7 (equipment carried) +0 (Luck check result) giving her a maximum possible result of only 14. She would start to drown. Of course she could use Luck again in the next round to help her survive.

Opposed Skill Checks & Luck

Luck can be used to modify the result of opposed skill checks using the same method as described above (under the heading: Luck Difficulty Class). The character makes a Luck check and than applies the result as a modifier to their opposed skill check, which is then compared to their opponents check as normal.

Checks Without Rolls & Luck

You cannot 'take 10' or 'take 20' when testing your Luck.

Combat & Luck

Luck can be used in combat in three ways. To increase your chance of hitting an opponent, to increase the damage you deal to an opponent, or to reduce the damage taken from an opponent's blow.

Using Luck to Hit an Opponent

A character may make a Luck check (as described under the heading: Luck Difficulty Class) the result of which is then added or subtracted to her next attack roll to hit an opponent.

Using Luck to Increase Damage Dealt

When a character has successfully hit an opponent, he may make a Luck check (as described under the heading: Luck Difficulty Class) and add or subtract the result to the damage dealt by his attack. The Luck check must be made before damage is rolled. Luck damage is never multiplied by a critical success.

Using Luck to Reduce Damage Taken

When a character has been hit by an opponent's attack, she may make a Luck check (described under the heading: Luck Difficulty Class) and apply the result to reduce or increase the damage dealt by the attack. Damage reduced by a Luck check can never be reduced to less than 0. She can decide to make the Luck check before or after damage has been rolled.

Luck and Magic

Luck cannot be used to increase or decrease the effectiveness of a spell or magical effect.

Luck can be used to increase the chance of hitting with a magical attack, such as a ray, by modifying the to-hit roll or it could be used to modify the result of a Spellcraft check to help identify a spell being cast. Similarly it could be used to increase the chance of making a successful saving throw to counter a spells effect.

Luck and Turn / Rebuke Undead

Luck can be used to increase the chance of turning / rebuking undead but cannot increase the effectiveness i.e. Luck may be applied to the Turning Check Result, but cannot be used to increase the maximum hit dice affected, or the number of HD affected.

e.g. Ellion G'aarak, a 4th level Cleric, enters a room containing 4 zombies, she decides to attempt to turn them and to use Luck in her attempt. Ellion makes a Luck check, the result of which is added to her Turning check result which may make her more likely to succeed.

Stand alone Luck Checks

There will be situations within the adventure when Luck can be used to determine the outcome. Depending on the situation the DM may appoint a higher or lower Luck DC. The DM must never use Luck to replace a saving throw or Skill check that already exists. In the example below an unsuccessful Luck check would then require a Reflex save to avoid falling in the water.

An example of a stand-alone Luck check: If the characters are walking over a rickety old wooden bridge, does a rotten plank break under the weight of one of the players? The DM decides that the characters will have to be particularly Lucky to avoid all the rotten planks and gives this situation a Luck DC of 15. As with all Luck checks, once a stand-alone Luck check
has been made (whether successful or not) the character must temporarily reduce his Luck score by 1.

Opposed Luck Checks

Two characters are sitting at the table playing cards. Who will win? The simple solution to this is for the characters to make an opposed Luck check. Both characters roll a D20 and add their Luck modifier. The character with the highest Luck result wins. Each character that made the opposed Luck check must temporarily reduce his Luck score by 1.

Optional Luck Rule

If a character rolls a natural 1 on the Luck roll the DM may rule that that character has been so unlucky that he automatically fails whatever he was attempting to use Luck with: If he was using Luck to modify his attack roll then the attack automatically misses; if he was using Luck to modify his chance to Pick a lock the attempt automatically fails; if he was using Luck to modify his melee damage roll, he scores no damage at all; If he was using Luck to modify his opponent's melee damage roll, his opponent does full damage etc.

Restoring Luck

Luck can be restored in a number of ways. Luck cannot be increased past its starting value except by magical means (see Appendix 2 - New Magic, New Spells). Any excess Luck points that would take a characters Luck score above the original value are lost.

Normal Regeneration of Ability Points

(see DMG Chapter 3, Ability Score Loss)

Magical means - Spells and Potions

Any spell that restores Ability points can be used to restore Luck points. Examples include: Lesser Restoration, Restoration and Fortune (see Appendix 2 - New Magic, New Spells)

Any potion that restores Ability points can be used to restore Luck points.

Discretionary Awards by the DM.

DMs can choose to award Luck points to characters for particular acts of daring or heroism. It should be remembered that Luck is an extremely powerful ability that can allow characters to succeed at tasks that they normally wouldn't be able to achieve. Care should be taken when awarding Luck points, don't give the characters too much or you could make any scenario too easy, but don't be too stingy with your Luck awards or the characters will probably fail.

Scenario Awards

At various points in this adventure Luck points are awarded to characters. These Luck awards can be increased / decreased at the DM's discretion. Luck awards are to the party as a whole, it is up to the DM to determine how they are divided amongst the characters. E.g. if a party of 3 characters are awarded 2 Luck points the DM can either give 1 point each to 2 of the players or 2 points to one of them. At the DM's discretion - award the points to the characters who played the most significant role in gaining them.

Monsters and Luck

Luck is a player character specific Ability score. Monsters and NPCs do not gain the Luck ability score.






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