Can the Luck virtue be used for Original Research?

The virtue Luck, pg 45 of the core book starts with: "You perform well in situations where luck is more of a factor than skill or talent." So, thoughts?

I was about to say "no!". But GotF states: "Fortune plays a large roll [sic] in the research process.", which, I guess, is what you'd say about games of chance (in which Luck explicitly helps). So, yes ...
But! Mechanically, how do you use it? By the RAW, your Storyguide assigns you a +1 to +3 modifier to your experimentation roll. This flat bonus can increase your chances to get a Discovery, but only very marginally.

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By RAW, the Original Research rules are completely borked. I believe it's an official unofficial errata that if you choose to push your skill beforehand (ie to try to add up to your MT/5 to the roll), you can add UP to your bonus AFTER you make the roll (ie, you can add as little or as much as you want, up to the amount you defined before you rolled) - as otherwise it really doesn't make any sense to have anything but a +1 to the roll itself. (yes, a +2 could conceivably pump either an 8 or a 1,4 roll up to a 10 as well - at the cost of additional botch dice). I would assume this applies to Luck as well. (Or alternately, change the rule to be "roll a 10 or better", rather than "roll a Discovery").

But if you want to be technical about it, the rules for Luck don't explicitly say WHEN the GM can decide to add +1 to +3 to your roll - they could very well decide to add it to the roll after it's rolled, for example. Obviously, you would normally add it before - but this is the one scenario in which you don't know what "good luck" means in until after you've rolled the die - and since it's the GM doing the adding, you could arguably require that they know what luck would mean before determining whether or not to add it in. Therefore, for the virtue to work in this scenario, you can only add it after.

But yeah - every time I've brought up the Original Research rules up in a group, everyone has agreed that they're broken, and agree either to the "just roll 10 or better", or else the "you can add up to your bonus, after your roll" rules.

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The errata indeed cover more than this. Read errata for HoH:TL p.27:

Given this, I wouldn't allow the ArM5 p.45 Luck modifier to play a roll in it: being allowed to add or subtract any value between 0 and 6 after the roll results in nearly assured Discovery on the ArM5 p.109 Extraordinary Results Chart.

Cheers

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Original research is hard enough. I'd allow it.

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WEll, the build in question would require at least an 11 in magic theory - which, to be honest, is someone who SHOULD be able to perform original research on a semi-regular basis. As Mr. Lawford mentions - Original Research is hard enough. Even with an effective ~68% chance of succeeding, that's still not even as close to being as effective as Integration research, and you still have to pay Warp for it. So... yeah. Personally, I say Let 'em have both - they took a pretty specific build to get it that far, anyway.

Or to put it another way - I personally would never use the Original Research rules without the numbers being closer to this, nor would anyone I know who plays Ars - and if no one ever uses the rules, then there's not much point to them. With the Luck virtue, it makes it actually almost reasonable to use, occasionally.

Contrast with the Integrartion rules - which require that your character go out and adventure and find things, which makes for an interesting story. The OR rules feel at best something that's great for someone ELSE to do to do. I mean - sure, your lab might blow up (which is moderately amusing), but for the most part, you really just kinda fail a lot, get punished with warp, and you waste a season and/or get a probably-useless spell. That's not interesting - at least, not for me.

Actually, Original Research sounds a lot like studying Vim for XP - something you hope you never have to do, because if you're qualified to do it, you really could be doing something better with your time.

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Note, that HoH:TL p.26ff Original Research needs only a magus with the right numbers on the character sheet, a lab and a project. It is just the default, with no story needed, but quite some potential to bowl over unsuspecting troupes.

AM p.7ff Hermetic Integration research starts from findings in the saga, requires significant extra time to find and use sources of Insight, and often a saga is built around it: only when AM p.8 Insight runs out and Breakthough points are still needed, it is usually back to default Original Research. So embedding a magus' research into the saga allows to moderate effort and Warping spent by him without the need of a new interpretation of the Luck Virtue.

Cheers

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I disagree. I've seen characters for who it really wasn't that hard.

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The roll on the Extraordinary Results table is certainly a situation where luck plays more of a factor than skill or talent. So Luck should apply by the logic of the rules. I think people have problems with this because in their minds research should be determined by skill and knowledge. Under this ruleset, that's not the case.

Mechanically, I'd probably allow Lucky characters to vary the results roll either direction by 1. Going +2 or +3 on such a restricted range of results would be too effective.

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But it's a lengthy process. It takes a lot of time, resource, and good fortune.

And it's probably quite specific too - they won't be breaking the world season after season but they will hopefully get the breakthrough with enough play time left to enjoy it.

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I'm not sure I understand what you are saying.

Without Luck, if you take a Risk Modifier of +3 (which already requires a Magic Theory of 11+), then your "basic" result on the Extraordinary Results Chart equals: stress die + 3. This means that if your unmodified die roll (without the +3 Risk Modifier) is anything between 4 and 10, inclusive, you get a Discovery. Your chance of doing so is about 60%. It's a bit unclear what happens if you get a "roll twice" result: do you modify that, or do you modify individually the two results? I'm assuming the second, but numbers do not change that much otherwise.

Now, add Luck, which allows the storyguide to add between +1 and +3 to your roll -- his choice, "depending upon how much luck is involved" (I'd rule +1, perhaps +2). Let's say it's +2. Now any unmodified roll between 2 and 8, inclusive, gets you a Discovery. Has this improved your chances significantly? Nah. They are about 75%.

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Hardly new - that was one of my first thoughts when I first read the OR rules. But because the rules were borked, I didn't ever bother applying them. Once I heard the errata, I immediately added it back in.

that being said, with the errata, I do agree that skill now has more of a place in it than previously described. As such, it's not a completely random event (unlike the original rules.) Therefore, it sounds like the Luck virtue needs to be slightly more rigorously defined:

0 - luck is irrelevant: this is pure skill (chess - ignoring first turn advantage)
+1: while luck is an issue, skill plays a large roll. (Poker)
+2: while skill is an issue, luck plays a large roll. (21)
+3: skill is irrelevant - this is completely luck. (Some dice games.)

So - weirdly enough, the more skill you can effectively bring to bear on a problem, the less luck plays a part. So for a complete (lucky) novice attempting experimentation and OR, with no bonus, it actually WOULD be a completely random roll - meaning that their skill is irrelevant...and thus they'd get the full +3 (variable) bonus.

Someone with a bit of skill or who is pushing just a bit (+1 or +2), then they're in the intermediate area - and they'd get the +2 variable luck bonus.

For someone who is rolling the full +3 for skill, they'd probably get the +1 variable luck bonus.

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Heck, luck has been a big factor in Real World research. Seems silly to say it wouldn't be a factor in our little game........

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Then it helps to reread this thread from here, especially his not quite correct rendering of the "official unofficial errata" and

Cheers

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I was under the impression that "luck" in real-world research usually just means "being very conservative and precise about expectations, and choosing to investigate things that deviate from that expectation."

ie, essentially, "luck" usually just means that someone was paying attention when something went sideways (rather than ignoring it and/or not knowing what to do with it and/or not realizing that it wasn't supposed to do that), and was cognizant enough to capitalize on it.

It's kind of what the scientific method is set up to catch.

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Tell me something new about ArM5 rules after mid 2016. 8)

These errata are in place for about a decade now.

Cheers

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Yes. And I've been aware of it (in general, although I don't recall if I actually read that particular errata or not) for probably five or so. My original thought was that it was simply you could add/subtract the value of your experimentation up to your pre-defined limit, rather than add it, and THEN add/subtract up to that same amount. In that context, (only being able to modify the roll by up to +/-3), Luck still played a large roll - hence my decision to say "sure, add it in if you want," as the description literally says "Fortune plays a large role in the research process".

Now, as you explained, it's actually easier than that - but luck still plays a role (albeit not as much, potentially).

As such, the idea of using Luck in the roll (as luck is GM's prerogative) is not new to me, nor is it a "new interpretation of the Luck rules" - as it's literally "whatever the GM thinks is appropriate." As I am a GM, and I think it's appropriate, and I've thought it appropriate ever since I read the rules. And, due to the quirk of how the OR rules work, you don't know if a bonus is actually appropriate until after the roll is rolled. So, it's not unreasonable (nor is it explicitly against any rule that I'm aware of) to have the GM add it in afterwards.

Now, this was likely never clarified because in pretty much every other roll, it's always good to have a bonus. But I'm not aware of any circumstance in which it's explicitly disallowed.

As to whether or not you think it's a GOOD idea - well, you have personally said that you don't care for the results of the numbers. OK. That's your opinion. Thank you for sharing your reasoning.

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Indeed.

Cheers

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Ah, I see (in part) now. That's not how I would play it. I would only allow the SG to choose the bonus beforehand (since it clearly says he should choose it based on much the roll is about sheer luck). Luck then still provides an advantage, but only a very marginal one. Which is how it should work, in my opinion.

But even if one takes Kevin Shultz's approach, I still do not understand how one gets to your "add or subtract any number between 0 and 6". Without Luck, you can adjust your "basic" result by +3 to -3. Even with the most generous interpretation of how Luck works (which is not, I repeat the one I'd take), Luck can only add to the roll, not subtract. So it would be +6 to -3.

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Penicillin and Vulcanized Rubber, just off the top of my head, were lucky accidents. Given the nature of Magical Research, I can't imagine that lucky accidents are rarer in game then they are in the Real World.

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