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 Author Topic: Problems with "Lucky" characters  (Read 1598 times)
Bill Whitmore
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 « on: October 28, 2011, 12:58:50 AM »

I was looking at the more extreme luck builds.  Using a combination of Lady Luck's Smile, and either Tales of the Rascal or Bold Heroes, action dice will explode on 3 values.  For most of the die-types, this doesn't present a problem, but on the d4 the value of the die skyrockets.

f(x, y) = mean value of a die where the number of sides is equal to X and valued 1 through X and the die explodes on Y values.
f(4, 3) = 10
f(6, 3) = 7
f(8, 3) = 7.2
f(10, 3) = 7.9
f(12, 3) = 8.7

It bothers me that the d4 action die is the highest value on the list.  Add in Fortunate and Fortune's Fool and you will almost always have d4 action dice, even at the highest levels.  Should a d4 be more valued than a d12?

Reducing the number of exploding sides to 2 yields:
f(4, 2) = 5
f(6, 2) = 5.25
f(8, 2) = 6
f(10, 2) = 6.875
f(12, 2) = 7.8

Allowing 3 sides to explode really breaks the d4 action die, so I am tempted to house rule that no more than 50% of an action die's value may result in a die exploding.

Those numbers then come out looking like this:
f(4, 2) = 5
f(6, 3) = 7
f(8, 3) = 7.2
f(10, 3) = 7.9
f(12, 3) = 8.7

This last set looks much more reasonable to me.

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Bill Whitmore
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 « Reply #1 on: October 28, 2011, 01:16:09 AM »

Sorry, I had meant to post this in the License to Improvise, but I didn't realize I was in the wrong Forum.  If it could please be moved I would appreciate it.
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Agent 333
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 « Reply #2 on: October 28, 2011, 04:37:43 AM »

Eh, this seems less "improvise" and more of a general rules issue. I'd be inclined to make TotR and LLS mutually exclusive, but saying they work fine except on d4s is fine by me too. You'd have to specify which one doesn't work on the D4 though, don't let the player choose when he rolls the die. I'd be inclined to make it LLS that doesn't work, but then again, it's already the lesser of the two feats (IMO), so maybe letting it work would help beef it up a bit. On the other hand, it's only when the two are combined that it's a problem, so who knows...
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 « Reply #3 on: October 28, 2011, 05:29:03 AM »

I think saying you can only have one or the other is a common house rule already, so don't sweat it.
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Deral
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 « Reply #4 on: October 28, 2011, 07:19:41 AM »

I've actually allowed both feats since shortly after Adventure Companion came out, the house rule I used to circumvent insanity was to cap the maximum number of explosions at your starting action dice. Non-chance players haven't hit the ceiling more than a couple times (and that's only at low levels), and it seems to work out OK, making the explosions on the bigger dice more worthwhile.

For a short time I considered making it so that dice can explode a number of times equal to their size, 4 for d4s, 6 for d6s, and so on but it hasn't even become necessary to raise the cap as it doesn't much affect players who don't focus their build on AD as is.
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Krensky
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 « Reply #5 on: October 28, 2011, 08:51:54 AM »

One thing that might help if it's an issue at your table is to bring back the old give and take from the 2.0 version. Either make the player ask for the die with the GM taking on as well, or the GM takes on whenever the player uses a Fortunate die.

Another technique, which I use, is 'Too much is just too much'. If the roll is, say, 25 over what was needed to succeed and it's not a triumph, the PC succeeds a bit too much. This requires a creative and somewhat... mischevious... vindictive... sorry, the right word's not coming to mind, GM to make the success still a success but not always something the player wanted. For example, an noblewoman adventurer crushed her Impress check to seduce a scoundrel into helping her find her missing older brother. So he fell madly hopelessly in love with her, following her around, flirting, gallantly leaping into the fry on her behalf and generally being an annoyance. The table enjoyed the humor, he actually did save her once or twice, and they eventually got married and took (and abused) the Partner Chain.

Yes, I realized I just described the Organa-Solo version of How I Met Your Mother, but it came up organically in play.
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 « Reply #6 on: October 28, 2011, 09:38:47 AM »

One thing that might help if it's an issue at your table is to bring back the old give and take from the 2.0 version. Either make the player ask for the die with the GM taking on as well, or the GM takes on whenever the player uses a Fortunate die.

That's what I'm leaning towards, personally.  In Spycraft it was rare to see a total chance abuse character, even though many of the options were identical (or close to).  Yet in FC from release I haven't GMed or played in a game that doesn't have one, and the only real difference I can see is Fortunate.  I think knowing you are giving your GM 10 action dice if you activate fortunate's full effect at once will make many characters a little bit more cautious.

And yes, I'll admit I did play a Pech with about 14 action dice for one game - so I'm certainly not sitting on some high horse condemning players who have abused an easily abusable feat.

Quote
Another technique, which I use, is 'Too much is just too much'. If the roll is, say, 25 over what was needed to succeed and it's not a triumph, the PC succeeds a bit too much. This requires a creative and somewhat... mischevious... vindictive... sorry, the right word's not coming to mind, GM to make the success still a success but not always something the player wanted.

That's a cool idea, and I've been using something almost identical in my Fallout games with a player who took Weirdness Magnet (and later decided he wanted more weirdness magnet...).  Hadn't considered it for a player loaded with chance feats, but it really is fitting - "Fortune's Fool" indeed.
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Krensky
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WWTWD?

 « Reply #7 on: October 28, 2011, 10:22:11 AM »

One thing that might help if it's an issue at your table is to bring back the old give and take from the 2.0 version. Either make the player ask for the die with the GM taking on as well, or the GM takes on whenever the player uses a Fortunate die.

That's what I'm leaning towards, personally.  In Spycraft it was rare to see a total chance abuse character, even though many of the options were identical (or close to).  Yet in FC from release I haven't GMed or played in a game that doesn't have one, and the only real difference I can see is Fortunate.  I think knowing you are giving your GM 10 action dice if you activate fortunate's full effect at once will make many characters a little bit more cautious.

The funny thing is though, that change really doesn't do anything except make the player think. As a GM I have more dice then I know what to do with most of the time, and I can always get more even if my players get boring and stop earning dice. My players seems to be hesitant to make a conscious choice that results in me getting dice though.

And yes, I'll admit I did play a Pech with about 14 action dice for one game - so I'm certainly not sitting on some high horse condemning players who have abused an easily abusable feat.

See, I don't see that as abuse, I see it as an opportunity to make you have to use those 14 dice.

Quote
Another technique, which I use, is 'Too much is just too much'. If the roll is, say, 25 over what was needed to succeed and it's not a triumph, the PC succeeds a bit too much. This requires a creative and somewhat... mischevious... vindictive... sorry, the right word's not coming to mind, GM to make the success still a success but not always something the player wanted.

That's a cool idea, and I've been using something almost identical in my Fallout games with a player who took Weirdness Magnet (and later decided he wanted more weirdness magnet...).  Hadn't considered it for a player loaded with chance feats, but it really is fitting - "Fortune's Fool" indeed.

I use it for everyone when appropriate for the game. It's written up formally here: http://www.crafty-games.com/forum/index.php?topic=3783.msg64740#msg64740

The reason I think some might find it helpful is that if you don't make the player roll the exploding action die it makes them think if their roll is good enough or if they need to push it higher.
 « Last Edit: October 28, 2011, 10:29:16 AM by Krensky » Logged

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SilvercatMoonpaw
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 « Reply #8 on: October 28, 2011, 10:38:13 AM »

Yeah, more games need to take a cue about reining in number boosting from Teenagers.
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Bill Whitmore
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 « Reply #9 on: October 28, 2011, 11:13:19 AM »

Eh, this seems less "improvise" and more of a general rules issue.

I am not calling for any kind of official modification, I am just introducing a house rule, so License to Improvise seems more appropriate.

Quote
You'd have to specify which one doesn't work on the D4 though, don't let the player choose when he rolls the die.

I was inclined to give the player the choice.  He took both feats, why shouldn't he be allowed to decide which feat he applies to the roll?

I think saying you can only have one or the other is a common house rule already, so don't sweat it.

For every die other than the d4, I have no problem with being able to use both on a roll, so I am not inclined to completely remove the option.  Under the normal course of play, it would cease to be an issue by 6th level.  Really, the options that always give you d4s could be just as much a culprit.  I could just as easily bump all of the action dice granting feats to a d6 and solve this problem, though that kind of change may introduce other problems.  Plus, that doesn't solve anything for levels 1-5.

I've actually allowed both feats since shortly after Adventure Companion came out, the house rule I used to circumvent insanity was to cap the maximum number of explosions at your starting action dice. Non-chance players haven't hit the ceiling more than a couple times (and that's only at low levels), and it seems to work out OK, making the explosions on the bigger dice more worthwhile.

For a short time I considered making it so that dice can explode a number of times equal to their size, 4 for d4s, 6 for d6s, and so on but it hasn't even become necessary to raise the cap as it doesn't much affect players who don't focus their build on AD as is.

Hmm, that might work.  I'll have to run some numbers using the exploding caps and see how it comes out.

One thing that might help if it's an issue at your table is to bring back the old give and take from the 2.0 version. Either make the player ask for the die with the GM taking on as well, or the GM takes on whenever the player uses a Fortunate die.

Hmm, this could be a possibility.  I'd be more apt to make it the latter, but as was stated, this doesn't really do anything.  I routinely end a session with leftover dice already.  Now would my player realize that?

Quote
Another technique, which I use, is 'Too much is just too much'. If the roll is, say, 25 over what was needed to succeed and it's not a triumph, the PC succeeds a bit too much. This requires a creative and somewhat... mischevious... vindictive... sorry, the right word's not coming to mind, GM to make the success still a success but not always something the player wanted. For example, an noblewoman adventurer crushed her Impress check to seduce a scoundrel into helping her find her missing older brother. So he fell madly hopelessly in love with her, following her around, flirting, gallantly leaping into the fry on her behalf and generally being an annoyance. The table enjoyed the humor, he actually did save her once or twice, and they eventually got married and took (and abused) the Partner Chain.

I'm not fond of screwing over a player just because they rolled high.  I have done stuff similar to the above, I've just never tied it to the die roll before.

Thanks for the feedback.  Now I have some other options to consider.
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Don't follow your passion.  Take it with you.

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Krensky
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WWTWD?

 « Reply #10 on: October 28, 2011, 11:55:18 AM »

One thing that might help if it's an issue at your table is to bring back the old give and take from the 2.0 version. Either make the player ask for the die with the GM taking on as well, or the GM takes on whenever the player uses a Fortunate die.

Hmm, this could be a possibility.  I'd be more apt to make it the latter, but as was stated, this doesn't really do anything.  I routinely end a session with leftover dice already.  Now would my player realize that?

There are a lot of things that elicit a response from the players out of proportion to the actual effect they have on play. I find that at my table, despite knowing I have tons of dice all the time and rarely run low let alone out, that they hesitate before asking for dice. They never hesitate to take a AD as a reward even though they see me adding a chip to my stack when it happens, but they'll agonize over asking me for a Fortunate die.

Quote
Another technique, which I use, is 'Too much is just too much'. If the roll is, say, 25 over what was needed to succeed and it's not a triumph, the PC succeeds a bit too much. This requires a creative and somewhat... mischevious... vindictive... sorry, the right word's not coming to mind, GM to make the success still a success but not always something the player wanted. For example, an noblewoman adventurer crushed her Impress check to seduce a scoundrel into helping her find her missing older brother. So he fell madly hopelessly in love with her, following her around, flirting, gallantly leaping into the fry on her behalf and generally being an annoyance. The table enjoyed the humor, he actually did save her once or twice, and they eventually got married and took (and abused) the Partner Chain.

I'm not fond of screwing over a player just because they rolled high.  I have done stuff similar to the above, I've just never tied it to the die roll before.

No, no , no. You're not screwing over a player. You're screwing with the player. Completely different things. In the example give, the Lady Natalia kev Alas needed some help from the local adventurer Henry Jakes. So she adjusted her bodice, batted her eyes, and bit her lower lip when standing too close and asking for his help. She rolled in the 50s vs a DC of 15.

So I ruled that Henry fell madly and hopelessly in love with her. So he helped her, and follwed along, and kept trying to woo her and throwing himself forward to protect her (despite her being a maestro).

She didn't get a failure, she got a sub-plot.

And like I said, they eventually got married and started abusing the partner feats once someone turned Henry into a PC when they joined the game.
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Morgenstern
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 « Reply #11 on: October 28, 2011, 09:12:19 PM »

Given the general consensus that Fortunate is a bit of a problem child as feats go, and that most combinations allowing your action dice to explode on on 3 faces don't mature until you starting dice have gotten up to d6's, I'd sugest that the dice from Fortunate just don't explode. Ever. That locks them down as a variable bonus with an average of 2.5 when used ot boost rolls, but they retain their full utility for activating crits and abilites - powerful stuff without the mathematical wonkiness.
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Bill Whitmore
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 « Reply #12 on: October 28, 2011, 09:28:23 PM »

Given the general consensus that Fortunate is a bit of a problem child as feats go, and that most combinations allowing your action dice to explode on on 3 faces don't mature until you starting dice have gotten up to d6's, I'd sugest that the dice from Fortunate just don't explode. Ever. That locks them down as a variable bonus with an average of 2.5 when used ot boost rolls, but they retain their full utility for activating crits and abilites - powerful stuff without the mathematical wonkiness.

That's a good point.  I am not that fond of Fortunate as it stands anyways, so in future games I may just make that adjustment to the Fortunate feat.  Unfortunately, in my current game, it pretty much is the character one of my players made I am hesitant to completely dismantle an existing character's build until I have explored as many other options as I can.
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ALL HAIL THE FLYING SPAGHETTI MONSTER!   Ramen.
pawsplay
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 « Reply #13 on: October 28, 2011, 10:16:21 PM »

Quote
Allowing 3 sides to explode really breaks the d4 action die, so I am tempted to house rule that no more than 50% of an action die's value may result in a die exploding.

"This feat may never cause more than half of a die's faces to explode, i.e. 3-4 on a d4."
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Morgenstern
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 « Reply #14 on: October 29, 2011, 12:27:39 AM »

Quote
Allowing 3 sides to explode really breaks the d4 action die, so I am tempted to house rule that no more than 50% of an action die's value may result in a die exploding.

"This feat may never cause more than half of a die's faces to explode, i.e. 3-4 on a d4."

That just seems cludgey to me since there is only one die-size the topic ever comes up on.
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