Luck and Renown

Discuss our dark fantasy adventure tabletop roleplaying game based on BioWare's computer game, Dragon Age Origins.

Luck and Renown

Postby Zapp » Thu Apr 05, 2012 11:16 am

I'm toying with the idea to add two new Abilities to my Dragon AGE: "Luck" and "Renown".

For Luck, the main idea is to allow you to build PCs (and NPCs!) that rely a lot on luck instead of skill. Having a character who isn't particularly good at a task, but succeeds anyway simply because of faith, destiny or plain simple luck.

For Renown, the idea is similar but not identical. Renown could mean a feared King ruling absolute. It could mean the casual experience of a grizzled veteran. Or it could indicate how an audience has whipped itself into blind frenzy; where an idol is worshipped regardless of its faults or deficiencies.

Mechanically, both work as regular Abilities (that start on the -2 to 4 scale, can have focuses, etc).

Luck can have any focus really. It is used in place of another Test but only when appropriate (once per encounter is my starting point). The advantage is that you can key it to almost any focus. This means you get to choose your favorite focuses, and instead of spreading them out on several abilities (which all can't have stellar scores), you put them under Luck and then have only that one score to worry about.

Renown works much the same as Luck, except you use it whenever your social standing, fame or notoriety plays a role (and can then take you through all Tests in that encounter). It allows you to rule by fear and awe without being charming or elegant. It is obviously limited in that it mostly concerns itself with Communications focuses.

LUCK FOCUSES
Any: Succeed at almost any task through luck instead of any other ability.
Sheer Luck: Be lucky. Instead of flipping a coin, the GM could call for a Sheer Luck Test, and having the favorable outcome (having a coin purse fall into your knee; not having a boulder drop on your head; choosing the "right" passage in a labyrinth full of traps etc) happen to the character getting the highest result.

RENOWN FOCUSES
Bargaining: Leveraging your reputation to gain favorable deals.
Etiquette: Have your lessers interpret your breaches of protocol as high fashion.
Initiative: Acting ruthlessly in tense situations.
Intimidation: Overawing others with social presence and threats.
Leadership: Guiding, directing, and inspiring others.
Morale: Maintaining good spirits and confidence in yourself or your group. NPCs tend to use this focus more than Player Characters.
Performance: Making an audience convince itself you have an artistic talent.
Persuasion: Convincing others to agree with you.
Seduction: Conveying your superior suitability in the mating game.


What do you think? Any problems you might foresee? Any cool usages I've overlooked? :)
User avatar
Zapp
Super Poster
Super Poster
 
Posts: 865
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2003 5:11 am

Re: Luck and Renown

Postby Zapp » Thu Apr 05, 2012 11:20 am

I guess there are a few mechanical implications that needs addressing...

* I would add a third switch to when generating a character (to accommodate having ten abilities instead of eight)
* It would probably be appropriate to allow characters to raise one more secondary ability. That is, when you gain an odd numbered level, you get to up not one but two (secondary) abilities.

Anything else...?
User avatar
Zapp
Super Poster
Super Poster
 
Posts: 865
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2003 5:11 am

Re: Luck and Renown

Postby Zapp » Thu Apr 05, 2012 11:28 am

It's important to add that you are not compelled to utilize these new abilities!

That is, while your buddy Luke might put a 4 into Lucky, you might ignore it entirely (letting that middling 1 remain) and instead focus on true skill. You might have to make the occasional Luck Test, but you wouldn't be worse off compared to your other friends...

Similarly, while your friend might put a good value into Renown to simulate a character commanding a lot of respect (or at least fear), you might prefer to use good old Communication instead.

The point is to increase options; to allow players to play characters (and face NPCs!) that manage through social hysteria (a cult leader?), fear (an Evil Overlord) or dumb luck (Joe the Hapless or Sylvia the Blessed One).

Also, to allow certain specialized archetypes normally blocked by meritocratic rpgs :mask: One such would be the Veteran who is a man of few words but commands instant attention among the men. Another would be the inept Lord who just inherited the throne from his diabolical father. Such characters would have poor Communication scores but respectable Renown scores.
User avatar
Zapp
Super Poster
Super Poster
 
Posts: 865
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2003 5:11 am

Re: Luck and Renown

Postby shonuff » Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:13 pm

I think Reknown is somewhat redundant. On the one hand, you have Communication which overlaps heavily. Second, Reknown, IMO, should be earned by deeds and actions, not sporadically on level up.
shonuff
Earth's Mightiest
Earth's Mightiest
 
Posts: 2946
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 6:53 pm

Re: Luck and Renown

Postby Deirain » Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:10 pm

For Luck, the main idea is to allow you to build PCs (and NPCs!) that rely a lot on luck instead of skill. Having a character who isn't particularly good at a task, but succeeds anyway simply because of faith, destiny or plain simple luck.


My question is, what's stopping a player, or the GM for that matter, from just stating upon character creation that his character is just lucky in an applicable stat? Just because Locke the Rogue has 4 Dexterity doesn't mean that he is amazingly agile, he could just zig instead of zag by pure happenstance. I've always looked at the stats as abstract definition of ability, if the player suggests something that makes sense for the stat, I let it fly.

Sheer Luck: Be lucky. Instead of flipping a coin, the GM could call for a Sheer Luck Test, and having the favorable outcome (having a coin purse fall into your knee; not having a boulder drop on your head; choosing the "right" passage in a labyrinth full of traps etc) happen to the character getting the highest result.


Isn't this the purpose of the dragon die result on a successful roll?

I think Reknown is somewhat redundant. On the one hand, you have Communication which overlaps heavily. Second, Reknown, IMO, should be earned by deeds and actions, not sporadically on level up.


I agree with Shonuff on this one, and I ask once again, what's stopping a person from describing that the young Lord isn't well versed in politics, but rides on the coat-tails of his father's regime? I'd roleplay it out as him not being overly intelligent, but still able to get the things he wants based on his title alone.

Going back to Shonuff's statement, both Set 2 and the Set 3 playtest have mechanics in place regarding character renown. Lord Whatshisname has a poor communication, but is granted a built-in +1-+3 bonus to social interactions based on his rank of Bann.
User avatar
Deirain
Bystander
Bystander
 
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2011 4:06 pm

Re: Luck and Renown

Postby Vaelorn » Fri Apr 06, 2012 1:24 am

It sounds like this might best be handled using something like an Honorific, e.g.

Lucky
The character is naturally lucky and can re-roll any one test per day.

... or similar. Actually, I just looked up this in Set 2: check out "Favored of Fate"! And there are many status/reputation based ones. Then you could hand them out as required.

I had a similar idea for Status and Reputation for my Conan mod, but I'm thinking that its too complex for the AGE system.
Vaelorn
Dabbler
Dabbler
 
Posts: 79
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:48 am


Return to Dragon Age RPG

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

cron