Random Chance Ability
A skill or ability in a Video Game that has a random chance of succeeding.
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(permanent link) added: 2011-09-10 12:02:20 sponsor: FoolsEditAccount edited by: Andygal (last reply: 2012-08-11 16:23:07)

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A subtrope of Unpredictable Results. While the Random Effect Spell is a a spell that always succeeds, but with random effects, this is a specific skill or ability that has set results, but a random chance of succeeding at all. In addition, it usually requires a large investment of Mana, is Cast from Hit Points, or has a chance of backfiring or something similar, though if the skill succeeds, the rewards are usually great.

May overlap with Random Effect Spell if it has random effects as well. Related to (but generally less reviled than) Luck-Based Mission. The Random Chance Ability can still incite ire if handled incorrectly, however, especially if it's used by an enemy.

Examples:

  • Many Useless Useful Spells are useless because they have a high chance of failing, turning them into these.
  • You wouldn't expect this from such a strategically-oriented, deterministic game, but The Reconstruction has one, used by Falitza. It's called Procure Status, an Enemy Scan that has a high chance of failing outright, as well as requiring the user to enter melee range and take a large chunk out of her already-low Hit Points.
    • There are also a number of utility spells, usually ones that inflict Standard Status Effects, that have a random chance of working, or, even if they do work, a random chance of actually inflicting a specific status.
  • Every challenge in Fallen London is a Luck-Based Mission, but there are certain ones that are totally dependent on luck alone. These usually have greater rewards, but your chances of success cannot be improved.
  • Pokémon: One-Hit Kill moves (Guillotine, etc.) have a base 30% accuracy, the lowest of any move in the game. A few other moves like Dynamic Punch and Inferno are guaranteed to inflict a Standard Status Effect when they hit, but only hit 50% of the time.
  • Breath of Fire: "Risky Blow" always lands a critical hit, but only if it hits, and the user is told this is a low percentage of the time.
  • Most Fire Emblem abilities activate on a random chance basis when two characters fight. Pray your opponent's ability is not Nihil.
  • Virtually every skill in Battle for Wesnoth is this, as every attack has a completely random chance of hitting (determined by terrain). In particular, though, are magical attacks, which always hit...if they succeed. There is always a 30% chance that the spell will fizzle. It's still much better than your chances normally, though.

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