Thursday, May 7, 2020

My useless stat

When I launched the podcast, episode 0, I included a 7th stat 'in case I ever need it'. That stat was Luck. I'm now 14 episodes in (writing, not published) and guess how many times I've used the stat... That's right: zero. This might not be much of a shocker. If there was need for such a stat, surely there would have been one by 5th ed. True enough. Call of Cthulu has one though (actually they have a very cool system concerning luck where you can spend it until... you're out of luck). Anyway, I'll probably ditch it.

On a related note, it got me thinking: are saving throws really necessary? A poison save - that could just be a constitution check. Dodging a fireball? Dex. Someone casts charm person on your fighter? Wisdom save. If I was running a game at a table these days, I would love to try that system out as a way to further simplify things.

A final thought on stat checks. One stat I find I really do need, but that I don't have, is passive perception. This is useful in any normal game, but for my characters it's critical. As the DM and the players all rolled together, I simply have way too much OOC info. If there's a secret door in the room, would my characters look for it? Probably not - but since I know if there is or isn't... it's kind of a non-starter. I'm amazed this has not come up earlier, but that is the case (it's not a secret door, if you're wondering).

Maybe I should port my Luck stat into Passive Perception. Or maybe a Wisdom check makes more sense. What do you think?


  1. Passive perception makes sense as a mechanism to control the leaked of OOC into the game. Almost like a curiosity roll to see how much a character would organically explore or look into a certain object or room.

  2. Hey! My first comment - thanks Rickytone. Yeah, it's almost surprising this didn't show up in 2nd Ed rules.

  3. Just food for thought. In Dungeon Crawl Classics, PC's also have a Luck Stat. That system also is hugely homebrewed by every Judge (DM), so I'm not sure if this is "canon" or not, but this is how I've seen it used:

    - Anytime monsters are randomly going to attack a member of the party, the ones with the lowest luck get attached first.
    - If a PC is attempting a skill check that may be effected by luck and the PC has a modifier it can be applied to the roll.
    - If you are reduced to Zero hit points, but the party survives the combat, the surviving PC's get to "roll over" the body of the downed character. If your luck check is successful, you are merely unconscious, but suffer a permenant -1 penalty to one physical stat (STR, DEX, or CON).
    - When looting treasure the value is adjusted based on the luck of the character finding it.

    What I know i "canon" is burning a luck point to modify any one roll by one point for every point of luck burned. This permanently removes the luck from the stat.
    Also, in DCC Thieves (and thieves only) regenerate luck over time, like natural healing.

  4. Rereading my original post, I think I might have been wrong when I said I used Luck zero times. There was an attempt to get away from Dermund undetected and another time when they walked through broken glass barefoot... still, this stat is a regret (among others) that is really just an unavoidable growing pain for a show without any real exemplars around. I remember that I had been listening to a lot of How We Roll - a CoC podcast that used Luck in a very exciting way. (Sounds like DCC does it in similarly.) I actually do like the idea of a stat you can burn, and I think it would work great at a table game. My mistake was in introducing unnecessary complexity into a podcast. IMHO, podcasts should be dead simple and easy to keep track of. That means few stats, few characters, & quick clear combat sequences.