Luck Manipulation Power
Supernatural ability to change fortune
Up For Grabs Tropeworthy? Motion To Discard Already have?

(permanent link) added: 2012-04-27 08:24:12 sponsor: OneMore edited by: Muffinbotton (last reply: 2013-01-13 17:34:17)

Add Tag:
Needs More Examples, probably Needs an Index, maybe Needs a Better Title, Up for Grabs.

Splitting from Winds of Destiny, Change, which is often confused with this.

Belongs to Luck Tropes index, Stock Superpowers. Any more?


A Luck Manipulation Power is an ability to give luck to oneself or others, be it good luck or bad luck.

Simply being Born Lucky or Born Unlucky isn't enough. The character must either make a conscious decision to use his powers over fortune, or be able to convey luckiness to others.

Compare with Winds of Destiny, Change, which is a power based on probability instead of luck. Where with a probability superpower a character can consciously control the probability of specific outcomes, a luck superpower has no such conscious control and is far more random.

In games, both the probability and luck tropes manifest as a Luck Manipulation Mechanic or a Luck Stat. If the flavor of the mechanic is about manipulating luck, it belongs here too.

Compare Luck Manipulation Mechanic, Winds of Destiny, Change, Born Lucky, and Born Unlucky.

Examples:

Comic Books
  • In the Marvel Universe:
    • One of the original Hellions was called Roulette and could generate both good or bad luck.
    • The character Black Cat (Felicia Hardy) originally had (and eventually regained) the power to give "bad luck" to her opponents.
    • The Scarlet Witch's original version of her "Chaos Magic" was essentially weaponized Bad Luck. It caused probability changes to whoever she cast it against - like if she cast it against Cyclops his Eye Beams would ricochet incorrectly compared to how he wanted them to go. (Later versions would have her use a reality warping probability power instead.)
    • Longshot has amazing good luck as long as his motives are pure.
    • Domino has luck that makes things work out so they "fall into place" for her.

Film
  • Intacto, a Spanish film starring Max Von Sydow. The movie's plot involves people who are a sort of "luck vampire" being able to suck a person's luck away to add to their own.
  • By the end of the Just My Luck, the main characters can swap their Born Lucky and Born Unlucky status with each other by kissing.

Literature
  • The Felix Felicis potion in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
  • In the Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (a defictionalised version of the book from the stories which was released for Comic Relief), one creature has a bite which curses it's victim with bad luck.
  • Luck Dragons from The Neverending Story don't have conscious control over it, but they are constantly surrounded by a sort of "good luck aura", which makes them and anyone who earns their liking succeed in risky endeavors by pure luck.
  • Morgoth, the God of Evil from The Silmarillion, claimed the title "Master of Fate" and thus cursed Hurin and his descendants. And yes, Hurin's children were plagued by misfortune.
  • While it's not seen in story, the Alloy Of Law Ars Arcanum appendix notes that Feruchemists can use chromium to store "fortune" which makes them unlucky when storing and lucky when they later tap the storage.
  • Teela Brown in Ringworld is not just Born Lucky; her luck practically molds the universe around her. She unconsciously "distributes" good or bad luck to people only so that her own fate is influenced positively.

Live Action TV
  • The luck virus in one episode of Red Dwarf. Lister injected himself with it and found whatever he needed just lying around.
  • In the TV show Misfits, Nathan in the special "Vegas Baby!" is revealed to have gained luck manipulation powers.
Tabletop Games
  • In Pathfinder, Witches have some hexes which do this (mechanically, if gives the victim a penalty on their rolls).
    • The Huldra has the ability to impart good or bad luck to someone.
  • Champions.
    • A character could have the Luck power with the Usable on Others advantage, which would allow the character to make other creatures lucky.
    • Starting with 5th Edition, you can't buy the Unluck disadvantage with the Usable on Others advantage and use it to make other people unlucky. However, you can use a Transform attack to change them into someone who's Born Unlucky.
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • 1st Edition
      • Fiend Folio. A Tween improves the luck of its host. Each time the host's controller has to roll dice for it, they get to roll twice and take the better result. Those creatures associated with the host don't fare so well: they have to roll twice and take the worse result.
      • Monster Manual II. The Luck Eater drains and feeds on the luck of all creatures within 30 feet of it, worsening their saving throws, chance to hit and the damage they inflict. It stays with the same creatures for 2-5 hours, after which it's sated and leaves.

Video Games

Webcomics
  • Luckmancy, a form of Clevermancy in Erfworld, allows a caster to improve a unit's die rolls at the expense of another. Though it's unclear how this is affected by fate in the prequel novel, and whether characters with a fate can be used to create luck out of nothing.
  • Vriska Serket from Homestuck has an ability to grant and steal luck as part of her Hero of Light powers. It works well with her Fluorite Octet, a set of enchanted dice.
  • The eponymous Lucky Bunny from the Show Within a Show, The Lucky Bunny Bounty Show (an anime parody) from El Goonish Shive. Apparently, she creates greater varieties in luck for those close to her - as she puts it, "Luck doesn't mean GOOD luck" - so her Bounty Hunter partner keeps stumbling into improbably dangerous situations, yet luckily surviving. So essentially she does BOTH - at the same time.

Web Original
  • In Episode 1 of Harry Partridge's animation Starbarians, the main villain is the Evil Snake Wizard Siad, "who can bend the very fates to his own evil will."

Western Animation
  • Teen Titans had Jinx, who could cause bad luck for her foes. Which is egregiously different than the comic book version, who had earth-related Elemental Powers.
  • Tex Avery had a cartoon, "Bad Luck Blackie" about black cats being bad luck -- but only as long as they were black. Paint them white, and the bad luck goes away, thus subverting the black Cat Stereotype.
replies: 68

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy