View Full Version : Luck is overrated; Fate is AWESOME.

2008-05-03, 03:53 PM
Allow me to elaborate with the following anecdote:

Over the last few months, my friends and myself have been playing a fairly casual 1-hour-per-week game. It was run by my friend Luke, and it was the story of a party of bandits preying on a small merchant town. My character, self-proclaimed leader of the party, was a 3rd-level kobold fighter (wielding a human-sized longsword as a bastard sword), who saw himself as... pretty much Ganondorf. He thought himself a supervillain, and everyone (at least in his mind) feared him.

On our second raid, we were cought within the borders of the city and completely outnumbered by tough, well-equipped quasi-werewolf guards. It turns out they had a temple to their wolf god tunneled out under the city, and we were delving too close for comfort.

We killed a couple of them, but our orc went down, and we were forced to retreat. When we had made it back to my glorious palace (a soggy cave carved out of a hillside), we saw that two of the guards were still on our tail. One of them went down fast, and the other turned out to be, like, 6th level. He proceeded to knock us all unconscious in a couple rounds and leave us for dead.

And here's where fate gets involved.

We all survived. Every one of us rolled our 10% chance to stabilize. The orc was at -9, so he only had one chance, and he made it. The rogue ran himself down to -9 before he made his. And we slowly regained consciousness, the druid healed us all up, and we went back to slaughter all the guards in the temple.

We did the math.
Based on our varying levels of bleeding, our survival chance was about 5.2%.
5.2%!!! That's like staking your life on a natural 20. That's not luck, it's FATE.

How about you? Do you have ridiculously improbable stories?
Are your characters fated to always win? To always die?

2008-05-04, 04:44 AM
I don't know if I would call this "luck," let alone "fate," but it is ridiculously improbable: a friend of mine who made a skirmisher (I forget which PrC he used - Tempest or something like that, modified to suit ranged weapons) got two autokills in a single battle. With light crossbows.

Jerk. :smalltongue:

During a later session, he also declared that he would shoot our sorcerer in the face only if he rolled a natural twenty. Guess what he rolled.

2008-05-04, 09:23 AM
There was the time our fighter managed to one-shot a homebrew creature that could go down to -1000 HP without dying. They also had fast healing stupid, and if he hadn't one-shotted it it would have been a TPK. We were level 6 at the time. He rolled about 4 natural 20s in a row.

2008-05-04, 11:01 AM
I had a Soulknife fall off a cliff and take very carefully calculated falling damage, rolled in front of us, to drop to -9. He made his stabilization attempt without even having ranks in Autohypnosis. The party of course left him for dead, and he had to make stupidly difficult Climb checks to get back. He arrives up top eventually and asks for the party's Bag of Holding full of Cure * Wounds potions. The DM, looking very apologetic, informs me that the Bandits we failed to spot were bullrushing us off the cliff. Of course only my poor Soulknife gets knocked off, but he climbs into the bag of holding in midair with a good Dex check and takes no falling damage. I still can't decide whether or not my characters was fated to continue living despite misfortune, or was fated to die and overcame the odds anyhow.

2008-05-04, 11:23 AM
Let me tell you about Fred the Guard

You see, in my games, the largest Pc group is in a sort of dangerous new world setting. There is one large city, literally called the city of adventures. It is a gathering place for mercanries, adventures, sellswords, merchants, gold diggers and what not

A local miltia runs it, along side with a volunteer adventuring group know as the peace keepers.

Two guards are stations outside the gate, Fred and Guard #2

Fred the guard is the most sarcastic, selfish, nasty character i could come up with. Every time he sees a person come through the door, he insults them depending on their race/class

When he sees an elf

Guard #2- I hate those elves, with their stinking ears and their arrogant attitudes, who do they think they are?
Fred-By [insert current guard name here] how could you say that? They ahve a long and ancient culture, that stenches back thousands of years, long before the birth of humanity. They have a right to consider them selves better, i look at them. They have lived for thousands of years, and yet we are both just as technologically advanced. And somehow we can train wizards faster than they do. Actually, come to think about it, we should be pitying them, as they apparently can't catch on to the idea of change.

When he sees a warforge

Fred- Wow, you know, we don't see people like you around very often. A lot of people say that it must be hard being soulless beings who's very existence is a crime against nature and that there souls will never go anywhere after they die. Actually, i imagine it must be hard knowing that your soul is nothing more than artificial programing and that everything about you was made by somebody else. In fact, you very existence is a fake. Hmmmmm, it must be hard, also to never enjoy eating and drinking and sleeping, while watching others do so with so much pleasure. Oh well, you have a nice day now....

So as you can imagine, my party hates him. now this city has been attacked a few times in history. And the PCs are normally needed to save the day. And the guards come to help. Fred and Guard #2 will always fight, and the second guard will always die, while fred lives. This happens so much that they don't even bother to recall the second guard. this isn't even DM fiat.

So one day, the weakest party member wanted to show him who was boss (level 3 half elf rogue) through boxing. I rolled up Fred's stats. I knew he was a soldier, and i normally give my NPC in that area PC stats. He wound up with 18s in everything. He still lives today

2008-05-05, 12:36 AM
The odds of that are... highly improbable o_O

This reminds me of the time I DMed a Star Wars character, but ah, that is another story.

I have a counter though: One time I played a bow ranger (starting level 1). Using elite array, he got 17 Dex as an Elf, the highest stat out of any of the PCs stats. As a ranger he was full BAB, and made liberal use of the Point-Blank Shot feat. The DM mis-read the Bard's ruling about how many times per day Inspire Courage could be used, and so that was almost always on in combat. Altogether a level 1 ranger had +6 on ranged attacks with a longbow, +7 at level 2, and he almost never hit a target. 75% of the time I rolled 2-3 on a d20, and even with an 8 would miss because the rare target had 15+ AC.

He might have hit 1 target the entire time, I don't remember. Fate stinks, when you're fated to suck.

2008-05-05, 12:41 AM
I play 7th sea and I see crazy odds happen all the time. There is a mechanic where you reroll d10s that come up 10s and add the new number to the 10, and continue to reroll 10s. I've seen people come up with rolls in excess of 50 on two dice before.

2008-05-05, 12:42 AM
I played a vampire in a White Wolf Werewolf game (don't ask, convinced the storyteller to let me do some weird stuff, and had one of the werewolves helping me fake it.) who had stamina 1 and no fortitude. Yet in a 2 year campaign he never once got hit or took any damage. Until the day i spent xp to raise my stam and fortitude. That very same game he finally managed to get hit. Thankfully he lived through it.

2008-05-06, 06:34 PM
All 18s?

If you want to see how ridiculously impossibly remarkably incredibly unfathomably small that possibility has of that actually occurring, check out what Shamus Young has to say (http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=377) about it.

It's a great story, though. I really like the soulknife off the cliff story, too.

Alright, here's another:

I was a sorcerer who was obsessed with disintegrate. We were fighting a warforged barbarian with, like, 200 hitpoints left, and he'd already downed all my comrades. He was also practically invulnerable to disintegrates, because of his ridiculous Fort save, and my default fighter-killer (telekinesis) was out of the picture because he was solid adamantine. So there he was overtop of me, bringing down his soul-drinking greataxe, and I point-blanked him with a disintegrate. I avoided the attack of opportunity and he rolled a natural one on his Fort save. Poof. Dust. Score.

2008-05-06, 07:11 PM
disintegrate does not kill you but does 2d6 damage per level of caster...
therefore you must have rolled over 200 damage? on a max of 40d6?

think an error occured here...

2008-05-06, 07:16 PM
Or it's 3.0, not 3.5....

2008-05-06, 07:21 PM
So, like, 140 HP.
You get the idea.
It's still a bloody lot.

2008-05-06, 07:29 PM
I rolled four ones in a row once, thank god they were only spot, listen, hide, and move silently.

The chances of 4 ones in row is 1/160,000

2008-05-06, 07:33 PM
Well, he could have been using some other rolling method, like 5d6 drop 2. Of course, the odds are still 15625/1586874322944 (If I still know probability), or approximately 1 in 10^8. Slightly more likely. :smallwink:

2008-05-06, 07:36 PM
The odds of rolling any combination of dice is 1/[(sides of dice)^(number of rolls)].

That is to say, the chance of any combination of die rolls on unweighted dice are equal. Their sums; however, are not.

Charlie Kemek
2008-05-06, 08:39 PM
I was playing a game where there were all these altranate universes, where we had to find this rift, and do something to it. It took ages to find, getting from one universe to another. by the time we found it, I was bored, and cast prismatic spray on it. it rolled a nat. 1 on it's save, and got a 6 on the roll for color. It got planeshifted to another universe. and we had to find it Again.

2008-05-06, 10:49 PM
How about this? In my second or third game ever my character found an awesome shiny bejewelled belt. Of course, he tried it on. BAM! Now he's a girl and can't get the belt off.
Well, that campaign died, and I imported him to my new game. The thing is I always had a nagging feeling that sooner or later history would repeat. Here I am last week, some 2-3 years into the new campaign and waving the Greater Rod of Wonder around in the middle of a massive siege and BAM!
Fated or what?

2008-05-06, 11:49 PM
Well I still call it luck but in one game there was the goblin that refused to die. Our Dm never actually named him (at least, not in this campaign), but we decided to call him Sarge after a while, since it looked like he was pretty much the equivalent of a sergeant for the goblins.

So the campaign was our kingdom against that big goblins kingdom and we were an elite force that always attacked first (we started as level 3). We met him in our very first fight. It was just ten goblins on patrol. They managed to actually almost kill our fighter and me (I'm a ranger). Only Sarge escaped, our dm just decided to give him XP for defeating me and the fighter since pretty much all the goblins had PC class. We met him again of course but he always managed to escape, mainly because he was a barbarian with so many ranks in jump and but also because, well, we just started to like him. I think we fought him about ten times and everytimes we fought him one of us or the NPC with us were knocked out or killed, which means he got lots of XP from us.

So at the end of the campaign (we were level 10), we burst into the throneroom of the goblins king. Of course, the king elite guard were almost level 10 too but we did lots of good roll. In the middle of the fight, Sarge enter the throneroom and try to get the king out of there. A single fireball from our wizard finish off the king who was already wounded and kill many of the goblins with Sarge. Our cleric decide that, since it was the end of the campaign, he should probably kill Sarge this time. After a few rounds, Sarge was backed in a corner and seemed on the verge of death while our cleric still had about half of his hp I think (though its not really important either way). The wizard and the fighter were trying to kill the prince and the few remaining guards in the other corner (me and the paladin died).

So it was quite obvious we were going to win, we were already talking about finding diamonds to raise me and the paladin...and then Sarge rolled an autokill on our cleric.

We still kinda won, at least the fighter and the wizard survived, but Sarge escaped and they coudnt resurect me, the pally and the cleric. We planned to use those characters for another campaign but we just decided to make new ones after all (well except the wizard and the fighter). But much later, in the new campaign which take place in the same world, one of the NPC tell us hes worried about the new goblin kingdom and their new king : a goblin named Sarge :smallamused:

2008-05-07, 12:41 AM
Sarge was badass. That's the only thing that I could say.

2008-05-08, 09:47 AM
Okay in my RPG imagine the scene:

This town, the capital city of the island we where on, was under siege by a huge confederacy of monsters, at this point we had no idea why they where allied since they normally had feuds on a daily basis. Anyway, we where questing in the hills when we saw this huge army so we high-tailed it back to town and got there just in time. So we stationed our bow-wielding ranger in the tower to take down a Dragospawn, a mix of a Dragon and normal bird that could shoot lightning, since in another battle that thing had turned the tide. All other bow-wielders where commissioned to do the same. Then there where Ice Elementals- They had one constitution but could only be harmed by magic weapons and fire- And one Warrior in our party had a feat, Coup De Grace, that allowed him to take out people at 3 or less constitution effortlessly, not even requiring an action. So the wizard was to warp him in there where he would take the five out and then go for the strongest one, the master, with his free action. (Firehammers, for the win. Magic and fire!) The other warrior, third level when we where all in double digits, (Don't ask how it happened because I frankly don't know) led the Cavalry charge against the Trolls. And there where two Bohrexarouth, collosal creatures that could shoot lasers from their eyes- (Again don't ask) Each at adjacent corners of the city. My buff warrior, the highest level in the game, had a trident that gave him two attacks and if both hit then a third attack. So if he multi-attacked and all went well, he got six attacks- Thusly I went after one Bohrexarouth, leaving the other to the catapults. So we had everything planned out, but they went first and a lot of the plan was shot to heck. The Dragospawn lightninged the Ranger right out of the tower, sending him sprawling through the tavern roof. He was never healed the entire battle. Some other ice guys froze all the cavalry, and the Trolls took out the level 3 warrior. The Bohrexarouth I was going after stomped right up to me but couldn't quite attack. Other then that nothing really notable happened other then the Tavern (The town was a tavern, a large housing section, a road and a shop) getting breached but then turned to stone accidentally by a bunch of Stone Wielders. So anyway, on our turn I easily dispatched my Bohrexarouth, and the Coup De Grace warrior took out all the elementals, which had non-substanced into the tavern and froze a bunch of guys. This is where it gets interesting, though. The Bohrexarouth on that corner stomped up but was stunned for the turn because the other Bohrexarouth died before his very eyes. We pummeled him but he still didn't die and next turn, he had an ability called Enraged Frenzy which, among other things, gave +2 to the dice roll on attacks. So he went in and kicked the warrior (All his attacks where d6, 1-3 missing and 4-6 hitting- Actually though, only a 1 could miss) but he rolled a 1, missing. Then he eyerayed him, and rolled a 1. Then he went down with his teeth and attacked...

You can only guess what he rolled.

I don't think anyone has been that lucky as that warrior in the history of RPGS...

2008-05-08, 10:43 AM
Let me guess... he rolled "wall of pink text?"

2008-05-08, 11:31 AM
My eyes! My beautiful eyes!

2008-05-08, 11:52 AM
In a game I played in a couple of years ago the party (consisting of a fighter, a wizard, a druid and a rogue, all lvl. 3) entered a tavern in a small village. We payed for some food and drink and all seemed fine until the fighter (Still in full armour) managed to piss of a local farmhand who promptly tries to slug him and misses. The fighter, not wanting to escalate things, didn't hit back. This apparently made the farmhand even more pissed and he attacked again. This time the fighter decides to strike back, so he uses his AoO but rolls a natural one. The farmhand on the other hand scores a critical hit and deals 8 points of nonlethal damage (3+1*2 The farmhand had 12 strength) This makes the fighter draw his weapon focused longsword and attack again and to our amazement rolled a nat 1 again! The farmhand attacked again and unlikely as it sounds managed to score another critical this time dealing 6 points of damage.
The rest of the fight continued like this until the entire party was unconscious and none of us managed to even scratch him.
An unarmed lvl. 1 common managed to do what an entire tribe of armed kobolds hadn't been able to do, he beat our party to a pulp.

2008-05-08, 11:58 AM
I'm guessing that commoner gained a few levels from that.

2008-05-08, 01:13 PM
I once was in a game where my party was fighting the Corrupted Avatar of Water (this was a home-brew world where the "Gods" were each Elemental/Spiritual Forces: Fire, Water, LIght, Dark, Wood, Metal, War, Peace, Stone, Air, and the two Super-Gods: Balance and Chaos). Water when corrupt, my DM decided, was Poisonous.

Being the Orc Fighter of the party, I was the one in melee with the Avatar most of the time and I was poisoned 23 times.

I was a devotee of the God of Stone, so my Con was very high, and with our home-brew orcs (really, modified half-orcs), I had a +2 bonus to poison saves.

Still, I had to roll a 12 or higher to succeed on each Fort Save. And each failure would do 2d6 Con damage to me.

I passed every save in combat-the fight went long enough I was making primary and secondary saves every round, but I never failed.

Afte rthe fight, when I had to make the rest of my secondary saves, I passed all of those too.

I just explained to the other PCs (including the cleric who also was poisoned and dropped to 2 Con by the end of the fight) that the God of Stone was clearly looking out for me and if they desired my kind of fortitude, they should convert.

One did.

Mauril Everleaf
2008-05-08, 01:28 PM
The first campaign I ever played, which was in basically the 2e ruleset, featured a trio of fighters, a cleric, mage and rogue. We mostly wandered about the frozen wasteland getting attacked by yetis and orcs. Then, in one random encounter, the dice landed on Frost Giant. We were a third level party. The NPC dwarf fighter I had picked up to replace one eaten by a yeti had a fun little line written on his character sheet that read, "Grignan will immediately rush in and attack any giant he sees and will not relent until either he or the giant is dead." This was meant to make sure that I didn't run away from the "boss encounter" that was supposed to take place in a few levels. The DM did not expect to roll the 2% chance on the Random Encounter table.

So on rushed Grignan at the giant. The giant missed his AoO and Grigsy crit'd on his charge. This was immediately followed my rogue firing off two shots. Both crits. We were also running a system of mortal rules, where a crit had a base 10% chance to auto-kill (adjusted by a helmet). This Frost Giant had a 1% chance to be mortal'd. Second shot did the trick. The beast falls dead in the snow.

So the creature that the DM thought would be a TPK was brought down in one round with no one taking any damage.

This happened two more times in this campaign.

To this day, Grignan still wears his necklace of Frost Giant teeth and Leria is known by the title "Giant Killer".

2008-05-08, 01:43 PM
Level 2 (2nd edition) Fighter (Archer kit from dragon magazine), Elf. (The rest of the party does not matter) We were in a tavern having dinner. Some local "guards" walked in. These guys were the DMs elite fighters. They were always at least 4 levels higher than us, wore full plate armor, and had magic bladed gauntlets. They were there to intimidate us and get us involved in the story.

All but one of these "Wolvetores" left the bar, he stayed behind to bully the towns folk. I got sick of listening to him harass a young maiden, so I pulled my bow and did a called shot for his eyes.

Now, just so we all are on the same page, Archers from the dragon article got bonuses to hit on "trick shots" and a called shot was considered a trick shot. at 2nd level I had a THAC0 (yes I just said THAC0) of 19, plus dex modifer, weapon specialization and trick shot bonus, my THAC0 dropped to like 12.

I critted with a natural 20, we rolled on the crit charts and I rolled 4x damage. I hit him for like 40 points of damage to his head. Which was enough damage to his head to kill him. The townspeople gasped and raised us up as heroes. We started a revolt 10 levels earlier than he planned.

We ruined his campaign, by accident. He never DM'd us again.

2008-05-08, 04:48 PM
There is one player in my group, he is kind of annoying, and I will call him X. X's characters have a habit of dieing every session. It's not his play style, because often he isn't actually there, somebody else is playing his character. It's not his build because our group goes with the philosiphy of "Hey, that sounds cool" rather than "That makes good sense optimization-wise". One of our best damage dealers was a Samurai/Drunken Master (Albiet, I think it was a homebrewed samurai class, but still, at one point he killed a nemesis of ours (We thought he was the BBEG, turned out he was just working for him) by beating him to death with a bag of gold we had just recieved as a reward.) It was just that, time and again, the dust would clear, and X's character would be lying dead on the ground, or on the wall, Or on the wall AND The ground, or, occasionally, all over the place.

2008-05-08, 08:29 PM
One of our house rules is that a 20 and a 1 cancel each other (if you roll a 20 and then roll a 1 on your confirmation, it's like your 20 never happened and vice versa).

One of my players rolled a 20 for a critical. His confirmation roll was a 1. Well that sucks.

Rolled again, and got a 1... but to confirm his botch, he got a 20.

Next roll he had was like a 4 or something, missed the goblin. It was far too exciting for such low-level combat, hehe.

2008-05-09, 12:48 PM
in a battle, that the DM admitted was overly one sided in an attempt to kill of a specific character,

I was a paladin and it was an evil outsider, so as common sense dictates i use smite evil, criticalled and thought that was pretty kick ass awesome.

but then the druid being out of spells hits twice with her quarter staff, and double criticaled

and just to finish off this creature the ranger takes a shot from the tree he ran up and hid in. one more critical

best battle ever, it made me really happy that this DM had a tendancy to overuse gore, and explain a particularly bloody hit for a good 2 minutes

i think this DM really under estimated his party, we fought our way out of every villian that was supose to be recurring, every evil outsider that had a bit of plot to tell, and at least a few city jails before the epic trial we were suppose to face

2008-05-09, 01:35 PM
2nd level players had to fight their way through a lair of kobolds and at the end they had to rescue a merchant. They did so well and got the merchant out of there.

All seemed easy and they were on their way out and they met up with the end "boss" an ogre!

Now, ask yourself, did they forsee the strategy of staying in the kobold tunnels and harassing the ogre due to his large size and difficulty moving around or did they charge foward?

So anyway, 4/5 of the party are out cold bleeding to death around the ogre and the fighter assigned to "guard the merchant" (he had 1hp and used that as his excuse to not charge into battle) hands him the hand crossbow he looted... which does 1d3 damage... and said "COVER ME" as he charged the Ogre.

I really didnt want a TPK but I wasnt about to let them off so I roll for the Ogre and get a hit and kill the fighter. TPK :(

Then the rules lawyer points out that the merchant never rolled iniative. He rolls and gets a natural 20. Much rejoicing amongst the party. I don't budge, keeping my "sorry" face on. The players cheer on the fighter, who rolled for the merchant and fate steps in - another 20.

Sorry face stays, the ogre has 18hp left, no go.

Another 20.... hope creeps back in.

Finally, a third 20 - instant slay.

The fighter later returned to the village and gave the merchant a masterwork hand crossbow.

2008-05-09, 02:01 PM
Worst bad luck I've ever seen/heard of: a player I know very well has a well "deserved" reputation for bad rolls. A few years ago, he played in a group that included most of my current players. His character was a gnome using a blowgun and drow poison on his darts.

After a couple of sessions: 1rst encounter. Tries to use his blowgun, rolls a 1. Dm decides he swallows the dart. Roll a save...1, pass out for a few hours. Party eventualy wakes him up. 2nd fight... rolls a 1, and a 1 on the save....same thing....3rd fight? Hesitates, looks around the table, makes sad scared puppy eyes and anounces he will try that again...rolls a 1. Everyone around the table now looks in apprehension as he make his save....yeah, rolled a 1.

Needless to say, he went for another weapon after that!

Odds of that happening? 1 on 64 000 000....

To this day, he still misses things he would hit on a 4 about....half the time.

2008-05-09, 02:26 PM
Fate sucks! It's always my 'fate' to have neato plans fail because the dice never agree that I should succeed.

I can usually think of a plan or strategy that my DM never thought would happen. However, for as perfect as my plans, ideas or tactics are on paper, they always fail during execution, as I can never roll higher than a 3 when it really matters... Curse you fate!

Yet somehow, my characters never seem to die. Possibly in a reverse-karma type way, I'll usually be the only one to succeed on most save or die/save or suck situations.