Knife To A Fistfight

21st Nov 2022, 12:00 AM in Trials Of The Tesseract
Knife To A Fistfight
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Author Notes:

21st Nov 2022, 12:00 AM
If the whole Super Soldier bit doesn't work out, at least Steve has a pretty good shot at a backup career juggling knives, eh?


21st Nov 2022, 12:26 AM
The most memorable goons are the ones that go up against the player’s extremely under equipped and still are damn good at trying.
21st Nov 2022, 12:20 PM
Today's Tangent By Otaku is... wait, probably one I've done before. Oh well, full steam ahead (in a circle?)!

How lucky can a character be? As per usual, I'll be talking about GURPS because, as was true years ago, it is the tabletop RPG with which I have the most experience. I'll let you check out GURPS Lite if you want to know exactly how the numbers work for success rolls, and instead focus on some Advantages* that can help you out. Luck lets you roll three times instead of one, then pick one of those three rolls to actually use.** Luck requires an hour of play time to recharge; it doesn't matter how much time is passing in the game, what matters is how much time has passed while actively playing in the real world. You can use Luck for your attack rolls, damage rolls, other kinds of success rolls, etc. IIRC, there are also a few really specific circumstances where you cannot use Luck, because it breaks the game. Considering I cannot clearly remember them, I'd like to think they're quite rare and usually only seen in very high power campaigns.

Most of the time, you cannot use your Luck for someone else's rolls. The exceptions are when they directly affect and involve your character, like when an enemy is trying to attack you (even another PC). An example of when you cannot roll for Luck; say you're in an adventuring party and you need to get through a locked door. The party beefcake can try to kick the door down, the party thief can try to pick the lock, or the party's wizard can use a spell to magically unlock the door. You are the party's healer, however, and not one of those three. You cannot "transfer" your Luck to one of those three to help with opening the door, even though you need to get past it as well. You can, however, use your Luck to try and kick the door down yourself, pick the lock yourself or magically unlock it (that last one assumes your healer also has an appropriate spell for the task).

Luck costs 15 Character Points.*** Exactly how expensive that seems is relative to your Character's total Point value: a realistic, regular human is worth about 25-50 CP. "Competent" characters are worth 50 to 75. Exceptional - like a star athlete - is worth 75 to 100. "Heroic" characters are worth 100 to 200 CP. Larger than life characters are worth 200 to 300. Legendary are worth 300 to 500. Superhuman characters are worth 500 to 1000. Godlike are worth 1000+ Character Points. Even though I use terms like "Superhuman" and "Godlike", some realistic, mundane characters are worth over 1000+ Character Points; when spread out among Attributes, Secondary Characteristics, Advantages, Skills and having few to no Disadvantages, you can really rack up the Character Points. Think of someone who is Bruce Wayne but not actually Batman. Similarly, just having (for example) a superpower doesn't mean you'll clock in as a high CP character; even someone with a negative Character Point total might still have something exceptional about them... it is just the rest that drags them down. Starting characters for GURPS Dungeon Fantasy, their equivalent to Dungeons & Dragons, are priced at 250 CP.

You can purchase Extraordinary Luck for 30 CP or Ridiculous Luck for 60 CP. These work the same as the baseline version of Luck except Extraordinary Luck only needs 30 minutes to recharge, and Ridiculous Luck only 10! You may only take one of Luck, Extraordinary Luck, and Ridiculous Luck. The heftier CP costs should give you an idea about how useful these two are seen as being; 30 CP is enough to raise your character's Strength by three, or improve their Dexterity or Intelligence by one with 10 CP leftover. 60 is enough to raise your ST by six or your DX or IQ by three! There's also Super Luck, which costs 100 CP; it may only be used one time per session, but instead of actually rolling the dice, you get to dictate the (numerical) result you wish. Wholly impossible results are still impossible. You can usually take Luck and Extraordinary Luck in any game, even realistic ones. Ridiculous Luck is not usually permitted in a realistic game, but is still otherwise considered "mundane". So a normal person in a game where life works like an action movie (but is otherwise realistic) could still take it. Super Luck is only permitted in games where characters are allowed powers. It might be a magical power, super power, divine power, chi power, or even an application of super-science, but it isn't available to an ordinary person, animal, etc. You can take Super Luck on top of one of Luck, Extraordinary Luck, and Ridiculous Luck. A character like Marvel Comics Long Shot almost certainly has Ridiculous Luck and Super Luck, in addition to some other traits that can improve your odds of accomplishing things or experiencing good fortune in game.

*Beneficial traits you can spend Character Points on to add to your character can do; I believe D&D Feats are that system's equivalent.
**A change made in Fourth Edition is that you don't have to declare you're using Luck before making the first roll. You're allowed to decide to use Luck after seeing the result of a particular dice roll, in which case you simply roll two more times before selecting which roll actually counts.
***GURPS has you "build" your Character by spending Character Points.
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