Skip to main content

The Effects of Luck

In GURPS, the Luck advantage has a unique effect on the core mechanic: when you use Luck, you roll three times and take the best result (generally the lowest if you're making a Success Roll). What does this mean for the lucky character?

Well, it means that on average you have a +2.5 to your effective skill. That is, the average result on 3d6 is 10.5, while the average result on the lowest of 3 rolls of 3d6 is 7.99. But the averages don't tell the whole story because of the beauty of the bell curve.

The following graph shows the probability of rolling a given result or less on a normal Success Roll versus one with Luck.
You can see how much faster the Luck roll tops out compared to a normal roll. Basic Set considers a skill of 14 to be expert level. A normal roll will succeed against a Skill 14 90.74% of the time. With Luck, you'll hit that likelihood at between Skill 10 and Skill 11. Skill 16 on a normal roll is equivalent to Skill 12 with Luck. So in the range of many starting character's skills, it's really more like a +4.

Looking at it from the other direction, if you're using Luck to make up for a very low skill (perhaps a default), you'll succeed against a Skill 6 25.29% of the time, versus only 9.26% of the time normally.

And the beauty of the advantage lies in the fact that you don't have to decide to use it until after you've seen the result of your first roll! So keep this in mind the next time you're wondering if Luck is really worth 15 points.

Popular posts from this blog

Dungeon Crate, May 2016

For my birthday last month, my friends got me a subscription to DungeonCrate.  This service is the RPG-focused entry in the current "crate" craze, where you pay a subscription fee and a box of themed stuff is sent to your home monthly, quarterly, or whatever. Well, my first crate arrived today, and I thought I'd go through it here on the blog.





Discworld RPG Review

The Discworld Roleplaying Game is a standalone fantasy RPG written by Phil Masters with rules based on GURPS Fourth Edition by Steve Jackson Games. It is the second edition of Discworld RPG, following the original GURPS Discworld published in 1998 and reprinted under the Discworld RPG name in 2002.

For those who may not be familiar, Discworld is the setting of an extremely popular series of fantasy novels written by Sir Terry Pratchett. The Disc consists of a flat, circular plane resting on the backs of four elephants who in turn stand on the shell of an enormous turtle which swims through space. It began as a fairly traditional — if satirical — fantasy world, but through over 40 novels, Pratchett advanced the setting into a rich canvas on which to poke fun at the peculiarities of modern life.

The first edition of the Discworld RPG was based on GURPS Third Edition, and it included GURPS Lite, a pared down version of the core system. Still, it relied perhaps too much on knowledge of th…

Voting Is Live For The 2016 Ennie Awards

The 2016 Ennie Awards are now open for voting. Go to http://www.ennie-awards.com/vote/2016/ to vote for the great gaming products in two dozen categories.

While you’re there, I hope you’ll consider voting for It’s Element-ary! for Best Family Game. I’m up against some very worthy competition, and I’m honored just to be nominated. But who knows what could happen, right?