Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Revisiting My Conversion of "DCC RPG Luck" to Swords & Wizardry (or any OSR ruleset)

Don't you wish you could reroll that save?

I've running with a "Luck" ability in my OSR games for a while now, and I've found it to be an excellent addition to a PC's resources. It doesn't take away tension. Instead, I've found it adds to the tense moments and makes gameplay just a tad more exciting. Of course, like most houserules that I've introduced in the past, I tend to initially make them needlessly complicated, almost as a justification for the rule itself.

Now I'm going to simplify it after using it with 2 different groups and 3 different campaigns.

"Luck" in Swords & Wizardry (or really any OSR ruleset)

Every PC starts out with 5 points of Luck. Thieves add 1 point to that total as well as Halflings (so a Halfling Thief would get 7 points)

Luck may be used the following ways:

     * 1 point of luck may be spent to add + 2 to any D20 roll after the roll is made. This can turn a miss into a hit or a failed save into a save.

     * 1 point of luck may be spent to add + 10 to any % roll after the roll is made. This can turn a failed remove traps roll into success

     * 2 points of luck allows the PC to reroll any die (or dice for a damage spell) - attack, save, damage, even HP gained from level advancement if they have 2 pts of luck left in their pool when they are awarded their new level. It can also be used to force an opponent to reroll an attack, save or damage roll. The reroll replaces the original roll, even if it it worse than the roll it is replacing.

Luck may only be used once per "situation" or encounter.

Luck resets to the PC's maximum amount at the beginning of each session, so there is no reason to hoard it (except for the possible reroll of HP gain due to leveling)

If there is a way to add to a PCs permanent Luck Score, I haven't thought of one yet. I've sure it would involve some major forces if it did.

You could introduce something like an altar or a fountain, that if used properly, could restore some luck mid session. Hmmm, I should actually try that ;)


  1. Nit: thief skills are roll-under. Adding 10% to the roll would be bad.

    1. added to the number needs to roll under ;P

  2. I used something similar in my recently ended B/X D&D Campaign I.I had a couple of bags of fake plastic gold coins. I called them Fate Coins and all all players started with 1d4+1 coins.

    They could spend a fate coin to:
    1. Re-Roll A Failed Save
    2. Re-Roll A Missed Attack
    3. Re-Roll A Misc Roll (Skill etc)

    Fate Coins could re gained by
    1) Excellent Roleplay
    2) Character B-Day

  3. I like the idea of it. I think in our two games I used it once. I know Doug's bacon was saved because of it. When I spoke to my group about adding luck I was nearly drawn and quartered. They were not amused. I backed away slowly and threw down a bag of Cheetos before running away.

  4. I used a similar system. Each player had 3 luck points per session. You could spend 1 point to turn a failed roll into a success (except saving throws and natural 1's) or spend 1 point to prevent your character being killed (the character would still be KO'd but not dead).

  5. Nice rules though I would allow a refresh only once per level, and Thieves get more than plus one... they need it!

  6. Sounds similar to the Bennie system in Savage Worlds, with a small supply every session and various uses WRT rerolls, soaking damage and such.

  7. mmmh, I don't like these new rule, Erik. I prefer your old ones:
    They are simplier than these latter and more old school feel, IMO.


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