A statistic in a game that is given a rather vague description from almost all sources, even official. Of course this stat will go under scrutiny by the fan base for its purpose in the game.
Common interpretations of the Ever-so-Vague Stat:
- It determines how often a Critical Hit can happen (or, for that matter, how rarely a Critical Failure strikes).
- It determines how often you get nicer things from Random Drops.
- it determines or adjusts how frequently you hit and/or get hit.
- It determines how lucky you are at the Mini-Game, especially the gambling based ones.
- It helps raise the other stats every now and then by just a little bit.
- It bends the Random Number God a bit more to your favour (especially in case of damage calculations).
In many games, it can be interpreted as "divine favour", especially if the good guys have lots of it. The fact that this is probably the hardest stat in the game to raise permanently and
temporarily doesn't help to dispel the mysticism. Expect a guide
to arise explaining what the stat actually does (if the guide itself isn't vague about it either). If Luck Stat
is implemented poorly, some of the sections of the game can be Luck-Based Mission
Contrast Luck Manipulation Mechanic
, which is a game element that allows a player to actively re-attempt chance-based events, as opposed to the more passive bonuses commonly provided by a Luck Stat
Named after the ever-so-vague Luck Stat that appears in video games and gets paired with the aforementioned ever-so-vague description. Of course, this also applies to other kinds of stats.
Examples of the Luck Stat
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- Luck is one of the many attributes in the Quest for Glory game series, and affects everything you do, but doesn't do anything directly. Luck may be instrumental in calculating damage from one of your attacks, whether or not that hit you just took is enough to pierce through your armor, and whether your bare minimum level of skill in throwing is enough to let you peg that moving target. It's never necessary, but since it goes up just fine all on its own without any input from you, it's perfectly fine to ignore it completely and just let it do its thing.
Beat 'Em Ups
- For the Guardian Heroes games, LUK is the 6th stat (after Strength, Stamina, Intelligence, Mentality, and Agility) and is used in lieu of Defense. While you could raise characters' HP with higher stamina, they would receive the same amount of damage. Higher luck reduces that damage and also affects one of the characters' randomized (luck-based) spells.
- AdventureQuest has the Luck stat, which controls critical hits, the chance to attack first in a battle, and adds to stat rolls.
- In zOMG!, Luck is useful since it controls item drop rates, which includes new rings and the Charge Orbs necessary to level them up. Luck also seems to be the only stat that isn't listed under your character's info tab. However, the game does mention ways to boost Luck: equip the Angel ring set, equip a Fitness ring, or learn Luck-boosting Ghi abilities and keep your Ghi meter filled. After rings received secondary effects, you can also induce temporary Luck boosts by using Divinity or Coyote Spirit at higher Rage Ranks.
- Phantasy Star Online has a Luck stat (abbreviated LCK) that simply raises your chance to have critical hits with physical attacks.
- Ragnarok Online has a luck stat that varied in usefulness throughout the game's life. On its most basic level, Luck would increase a player's chance to land a critical hit 1% every 3 points, and increase the player's "Perfect Dodge" rate by 1% every 10 points. Luck was popular early in the game with katar Assassins and 2-handed sword knights, as criticals punch straight through defense and is not based on basic accuracy. Perfect Dodge was a stat that allowed players to completely null attacks if their flee stat would ever fail. However, Critical-based builds fell out of favor in later patches, as the Luck stat of whatever player or monster one would fight can now damper the already meager critical rates most players had. Perfect Dodge-based tanking has still maintained a bit of popularity though.
- Guild Wars 2 has a stat internally called "Luck"—though the player base, and the game's interface, call it "Magic Find". It increases the chances of finding rarer loot, though notably it does not increase the chances of getting loot in the first place. It used to be a stat bound to a particular character and available on gear, but that meant a nasty tradeoff of taking loot-boosting gear, or gear that actually made you more effective. A Net finally relented and made it an account-wide stat that is raised by consuming "Essence of Luck". It's easy to raise at first but becomes drastically harder the more you have.
Non Video Game Examples
- The old series of Fighting Fantasy books had a luck stat that was called just that. Your character starts with a specific luck number, and every time they rely on luck to do something, they both lose a point of luck and have to make a dice roll to see if they are lucky. The dice roll has to be below the luck stat number. So relying on luck a lot would eventually make your luck run out, literally.
- Although occasionally they'd provide bonuses if you failed your luck roll. This was particularly silly in "Black Vein Prophecy", in which passing the first luck roll would deny you a useful magical power.
- This use of luck directly carries over to the Advanced Fighting Fantasy tabletop RPG, which is of course pretty straightforwardly based on the books. One possible downside of this is that since tabletop game scenarios tend to be rather less strictly pre-plotted than game books it's potentially easy for a game master to inadvertantly run players out of luck without even meaning to, simply by asking for a few luck checks too many...
- The relatively obscure Magi-Nation played this one very uniquely: Luck would never increase with levels and would have to be modified with things like equipment. This was because luck was not necessarily beneficial; it would increase the disparity between your attacks' damage. In other words, having a high luck could make your attacks do more or less damage than they would otherwise, while a lower luck would cause damage to gather around the average. The game explains that luck represents both good and bad luck, and as such isn't necessarily beneficial.
- The Table Top RPG Shadowrun has the Edge stat, which is essentially luck. It can be spent and slowly regenerated to help a character's chance at a particular task, and 'burnt' (that is, permanently lower the stat) to ensure a critical success or avoid certain death.
- Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay in 1st and 2nd edition has the similar Fate stat (and came out four years earlier), as have the derived Warhammer 40,000 RPGs.
- RPG Maker VX Ace has luck modify the chance of inflicting status ailments and debuffs by a small amount: one-tenth of a percentage point per point of luck the inflicter has minus one tenth of a percentage point per percentage point of the target's luck. As a result, the effects of this stat require high base chances of inflicting a negative effect or high disparities in luck to actually notice. The effects of the stat can be modified by scripting, thankfully.
- Eon has a stat simply titled Luck. It is most commonly used by the DM to determine whether something nasty will happen to a player or not.
- Amber Diceless Roleplaying has the attribute Stuff—that is, you have Good Stuff, Bad Stuff, or—occasionally—Zero Stuff. Good Stuff improves peoples' first reaction to your characters, allows you to pick up the occasional useful detail, and allows you to take risks with confidence. Bad Stuff tends to leave you distrusted, distrustful, and unlucky, but gives you points that you can spend on other stats and powers. Zero Stuff leads to a lot of neutral reactions, or each good reaction being balanced by a bad one.
- According to at least some contemporaries, in the original Dungeons & Dragons saving throws were intended as this. They still have some of that status—roll to see if your character can avoid or at least reduce the impact of something unpleasant—but the original emphasis was more on avoiding danger by clever play in the first place, with saving throws as something you rolled as a last-ditch desperate measure to literally "save" you after you'd already screwed up.
- In every Castlevania with RPG Elements, Luck determines how often items Randomly Drop.
- In Castlevania Symphonyofthe Night it also determined the damage done on a critical hit, but not the rate in which they occurred. Interestingly enough, the game has 2 damage formulas for critical hits depending on whether your attack or luck is higher when you trigger one. It also determines the chance of the Talisman accessory blocking damage by having an faint silhouette of Alucard fly off him instead of him actually being damaged, with ridiculously high normally unattainable Luck values making him more or less completely invincible.
- In Castlevania: Circle of the Moon, one of the New Game+ options was to start a new character who received massive luck bonuses and penalties to everything else. It was the last one of four or so you unlocked, and for good reason; 9999 LCK basically gave you enough random drops of every sort to kill anything and never die.
- The instruction booklet's description of the Lck (Luck) stat in Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood is the critical hit one, plus increasing the chance of beginning combat with an ambush. (Basically, every character in your current party gets to use a normal attack against a random enemy once without being attacked themselves.)
- In NetHack luck affects a number of things, but the oddest is that it determines your deity's reaction when you pray. That response, combined with the most common factors for increasing one's luck stat being sacrifices to your god and offerings of gems to co-aligned unicorns, imply that the "luck" statistic is probably better described as "divine favor". "Divine favor" should not be confused with prayer timeout, because the gods will smite you if you ask for help too often.
- In most of the other Roguelike games with a Luck Stat its primary effect is determining the quality of items created when a level is first generated. Ragnarok/Valhalla goes a step further, as well: a wand of wishing can be used to create a stack of items up to the character's luck in number.
- Incursion puts some player-visible oomph behind its Luck stat. While it has the standard "determine items and affect random events" effects, there are also a few abilities based off it, most noticeably the protection offered by the spell Mage Armor, the saving throw bonus from one of the halfling's abilities, and how many times you can use a Place of Sanctuary. (It is also damnably hard to train; you have to wander around on dungeon floors deeper than your character level.)
- Ancient Domains of Mystery has a hidden luck stat. There are also intrinsics that affect that luck stat. Doomed status, for example, lowers luck but also has several other nasty side effects.
- Demon's Souls has a Luck stat, which increases item drops and resistance to Plague. The Blueblood Sword is the only weapon in the game that scales with Luck, meaning being lucky actually makes you hit harder.
- Appears in the Dragon Quest series. In Dragon Quest IV it seems to affect little more than the odds of dealing high-end damage with spells (which dealt fixed amounts of damage rather than damage based on intellect), as well as of receiving low-end damage when hit by them.
- In The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion: "Luck has an effect on everything you do, but governs no skills." In this game, the luck stat artificially raises all of your skills by 40% of each luck point you have above 50. For example: when you have 60 luck your skills will improve by 4 points, because you have 10 points above 50 and 40% of that is 4. The downside of this stat, is that its tedious to raise it naturally.(i.e. without spells or potions)
- An interesting use here is that it's been found that having a high luck stat also increases your chances of winning when you bet on a duel at the Imperial City Arena. Naturally, people have found ways to exploit this by artificially raising their luck with potions and/or magic spells.
- In Morrowind however, the Luck stat would reduce the already existing failure rate of anything (i.e. picking locks, making potions, etc.) and determines the quality of stuff in containers and on people.
- Luck is pretty much impossible to raise having no associated skillsnote and gets ignored by many players. In the first expansion to Morrowind, Bethesda pointedly included an annoying NPC with his Luck cranked up to stupidly high levels. The end result was nigh invulnerability; if you somehow managed to sneak a hit onto him, he'd most likely reflect all the damage back at you.
- Daggerfall was even worse than the sequels, and a luck score in the mid-90's would allow the player to find Daeadric Daikatana in cupboards. Or on slain bandits. Or bears. There were, presumably, other effects, but most generally stopped caring by that point. Daggerfall is kind of like that.
- Some Final Fantasy games have a luck stat. It is invariably responsible for critical hits but may influence steal rates or certain Limit Breaks, depending on the game.
- In Final Fantasy X, luck is basically the most powerful stat, as it increases your chance to hit, your chance to land critical hits, and your chance to dodge attacks all at once. It's also the most difficult stat to gain any points in.
- Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Crystal Bearers has artifacts (ring, earring, and "accessory" items) that effect all of your skills, including Luck. Luck is mainly used for what items drop when defeating enemies, or whether they drop anything at all.
- Golden Sun has a luck stat that basically determines how likely you are to avoid getting hit by a status effect or being instantly felled. Considering which classes have which luck stat multipliers, "Divine Favor" wouldn't be a bad way of looking at it; i.e. obviously good guy classes like the Angel and Pure Mage have very high luck multipliers, while particularly shady classes like the Ninja and Chaos Lord have very low luck multipliers.
- In Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded the Luck Stat improves the base drop rate, as well as Critical Hit chance
- Legend of Mana has an example of THE Luck stat, which governs what items enemies will drop... officially. Players have attributed dozens of other things, ranging from how quickly new stats are earned to sync range. For similar stats everything related to the crafting system.
- Most of the Mega Ten games have a Luck stat, which affects critical hits (if they exist in that particular game) and item drops.
- It's even a plot point in King Abaddon. Gameplay-wise, "Bad" Luck increases the chance of running into Fiends, but also increases the chance of being able to fuse a Fiend on a New Moon.
- The Might and Magic games have this. Luck is tied directly to your magic resistance. It's tough to say what, if anything else, it affects.
- It's been said that it also helps with getting higher numbers on your damage range, taking damage from traps, and so on. Some unofficial manuals state that it has a wide variety of effects throughout the game.
- Planescape: Torment has a hidden Luck stat, that gives a small bonus to just about everything (and your enemies small penalties to same).
- While unnamed, a similar stat exists in Pokémon as well, which governs critical hits (which are particularly valuable if a Mezzer has been altering stats—criticals ignore reductions in Attack and buffs in Defense, but include increases in Attack and reductions in Defense). All moves have a base chance to critical, and this can be improved by the use of items (though some only usable against the computer, like Dire Hit), abilities, or side abilities to the moves themselves.
- In Pokémon Red and Blue, the probability of a Critical Hit was oddly based on a Pokémon's base Speed (which does not vary from individual to individual or with level, only with species).
- Even among veterans, the luck stat in Seiken Densetsu 3 is not fully understood. It has a noticeable effect on opening booby-trapped chests, but beyond that its vague effects may or may not include getting rarer items, avoiding enemy counterattacks, or increasing accuracy.
- Probably because the stat was bugged. Officially it was supposed to increase critical chance, making Hawkeye's actually useful as a damage dealer. Just try to count the amount of criticals you get throughout the game. Chances are, you'll be able to count them on both hands.
- Almost all RPGs by Spiderweb Software (makers of the Avernum and Geneforge series) have a luck stat. It claims to have a variety of effects, but the most visible one in the Avernum games is to randomly leave a character at zero hit points but alive when an attack would kill them—even if they were already there, at times. In Avernum games it is the only skill to require no gold to train in (as the trainer presumably doesn't do anything) but is quite costly in skill points, but in Geneforge it is among the cheapest skills.
- The wonderfully confusing Luck stat in Geneforge. The only known thing it does is increase the chance of body parts getting dropped by creations in Geneforge 3.
- It does sometimes indicate itself when examining certain objects, as the text "you have a stroke of good fortune" appears, followed by your noticing some hidden panel containing an item.
- All the Suikoden games have a Luck Stat. Nobody seems to know exactly what it does.
- In addition to the usual effects (higher chance of hitting/dodging enemies, getting critical hits), it interestingly seems to have an effect out of battle too; bringing a team of characters with high Luck to play gambling mini-games seems to increase your odds of winning.
- The Tales Series has a luck stat that requires luck to have at a high level, since it randomizes every time you stay at an inn.
- In Tales of Symphonia maxing the luck stat at the expense of physical attack power is a potential route to awesome power; it seems to affect not only critical chances but the amount of damage critical hits do. Getting a critical hit on every single attack for greater multipliers can make up for lower stats in other areas.
- Zelos's luck stat in Tales of Symphonia also seems to increase your chances of getting a better item when talking to women with Zelos as your avatar. Equipping Zelos with two Rabbit's Foot items is one of the best ways to raise Gald and gain great items in the game.
- Also in Tales of Symphonia, Sheena's luck stat influences her Personal EX skill. Every time you encounter an enemy with it active, there's a chance the enemy won't engage, allowing you to avoid a battle. A high luck stat can make enemies bouncing off of you four or five times in a row a common occurrence.
- In Tales of the Abyss, the stat determines whether or not Anise can perform her second Mystic Arte, Fever Time. (AND YA DON'T STOP!)
- The earlier Wild ARMs games had a luck stat, although rather than being a number it was just a 5 point scale from Worst to Best, and changing randomly every so often. Incidentally, having bad luck made it more likely for your luck to get even worse, and vice-versa, because the luck stat was used in determining what your new luck stat would be... along with everything else (damage range, crits, dodges, everything). Fortunately, there is also an item that boosts luck in those games.
- Luck is the last stat in Fallout's SPECIAL system, and vital if you want to get a lot of critical hits or beneficial random encounters. A character with maximum Luck and the Sniper perk will have a 100% Critical Hit chance with ranged weapons. A character with low luck gets to experience a variety of harmful random encounters in the world map such as Pariah dogs, toxic waste dumps, and general nastiness. Nothing game-breakingly horrible, but generally unpleasant. Luck also has other miscellaneous effects, such as allowing you to randomly guess a password, making a band of raiders think you're a ghost, or determining the amount of loot you get from a crashed truck.
- Beyond the Beyond has a luck stat, but it seems to have negligible effect on the game.
- Luck in Ginormo Sword affects how often armor/weapon-enchanting jewels and stat-boosting fruits drop from monsters. It also increases the possibility of higher-ranked mobs spawning, which is essential if you want to complete the Monster Compendium—although you'll most likely wait until you can actually beat these tougher monsters before you begin really concentrating on upping your Luck levels.
- Luck in the Fire Emblem games improves your probability to hit and to avoid being hit.
- Fate/stay night Servants have a luck stat, which seems to be Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Luck also seems include one's ability to Screw Destiny, as the one time it becomes relevant in the story is when Lancer tries to kill Saber with Gae Bolg, a weapon which has the pre-defined result of striking the target's heart and manipulates causality to make it happen. Saber is only able to survive because her Luck is high enough to avoid a fatal hit.
- Lucky Dog 1 has luck as the protagonist Gian's main weapon and several choices can cause it to increase or decrease; in general, clearly immoral or stupid actions will ding his luck percentage. If it dips too low, he's highly likely to get a Bad End.
- Although completely unlisted, luck seems to exist in Advance Wars, or as Nell puts it: "Luck is a skill!" Generally, luck in Advance Wars determines whether damage can round up or round down, as all units have 10 HP but damage is calculated as a percentage.note Playing as Nell will randomly do extra damage up to about 10% (and that's 10% of the enemy unit's max HP, not a 1.1x multiplier), and may also improve your chances of damage being rounded up. Meanwhile, playing as Sonja (who is stated to have bad luck) seems to have the opposite effect; your units do up to 10% less damage than normal. Nell's CO powers further increases the luck of her units, to the point where they can do massive damage to units they otherwise should not be able to damage.
- Advance Wars: Dual Strike added equippable skills, one of which is "Luck". It allows any character to have Nell's luck (except CO powers don't boost it further). If equipped on Nell, it seems to additively stack with her regular luck, which essentially doubles the effect of her luck.
- Although the luck stat in Fire Emblem games is generally well-understood by veterans, its lack of in-game explanation has lead to confusion among beginners. Contrary to what many beginners think, luck does not affect a unit's critical hit rate, but does influence accuracy, evasion, and critical evade (their likeliness to avoid a critical hit).
- Note Critical Evade isn't even listed in the GBA games—not like it's hard to calculate, since only two things influence it. Also, in the SNES games Luck was only Evade and Accuracy, the Critical Evade thing was added on the GBA games. Talk about confusing. Oh, it also influences whenever the Devil Axe will backfire.
- Heroes of Might and Magic games have a Luck stat that's very clear in its purpose—luck will occasionally cause units to do double damage (or half, if it's bad luck). Heroes can learn a skill or find artifacts that increase luck, and there are various ways to get a temporary boost.
Examples of Similar Stats
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Non Video Game Examples
- The Felix Felicis potion in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince bestowed exceptional luck upon the drinker, giving them, for a short period of time, a sort of reverse-Finagle's Law wherein if anything could possibly go right, it would. They also gives a kind of instinctive sense of how to be in the right place at just the right time.
- The Power stat in Paranoia can be treated as a luck stat (only to a limited degree, though—really lucky people don't live in Alpha Complex). Now report for termination, citizen—that information was outside your security clearance. (Also note that players don't know what their Power stat is, leading to much hilarity.)
- In RPG Maker VX, the "Odds" stat is hidden. The purpose of the stat is to determine which party member the monsters will randomly pick to attack, using the simple formula of Odds divided by Party Odds (Your characters have 3/4/4/5 as their stats in a 4 party member group so your first character has 3 out of 3+4+4+5 (16) chances of getting picked to get smashed in the face). Ironically, your position in the party (Front, Back, Middle) modifies your Odds stat, which is why it remains hidden most probably. You'll want your front characters to have a high Odds stat and your mages to be on the lower end. An Odds stat of 0 will effectively crash the game or render the target untargettable.
- The Amber Diceless RPG has "stuff", which is a form of luck. You normally create a character out of 100 points; any points left over become "good stuff" which helps you. If you spend more than 100 points, any excess spent becomes "bad stuff" which hinders you. What exactly it does is not specified and left up to the DM, but it's suggested that more than 3-4 points of bad stuff is a really bad idea.
- In Homestuck the Light Aspect represents the "essence of luck". Heroes of Light can understand the underlying probability mechanics of the game, reveal them to others, steal luck, and do other as-yet-unrevealed things.
- In Diablo 2, items can give the player an increased chance to find magic items and/or a boost to the amount of gold dropped.
- In addition to the usual Luck stat, later Dragon Quest games also include a Style/Charm stat, which covers how nice your character looks. You can get bonuses to it by properly coordinating your equipment. While mostly used for optional matters like VII's Style contests, Dragon Quest IX lets monsters react to incredibly stylish adventurers with shock and confusion.
- EarthBound has a Guts stat that determines the chance of a SMAAAAASH!!! attack as well as the chance of surviving (with 1 HP) what would otherwise be a fatal blow.
- It also has a regular Luck stat, determining—among other things, the chances of an attack missing (different from evasion, some attacks can miss but can't be evaded)
- Final Fantasy IX's Spirit stat. Affects random damage, critical hits, how quickly the trance bar fills up, and just about anything else the programmers would normally just have a constant in the equations for.
- Final Fantasy XI's Charisma stat has been proven to affect Bard songs, Dancer dances, and Beastmaster charms, and a few other things... and also rumored to affect almost anything else at one point, and still does.
- Cunning in Dragon Age II is used to determine critical hit chance, and Dexterity determines how much extra damage the critical hit does. With high ranks in both and various Rogue passive skills, it is possible to run a character who is getting critical hits for 250% damage on around 70% of his attacks.
- Mario & Luigi has the "Stache" stat, which gives you discounts at shops and increases critical hit chances.
- Oddly, in the second game, the baby version of the brothers ask use Stache points. Babies don't have mustaches.
- In Bowser's Inside Story, Bowser's version of this stat was called "Horn" instead. As Bowser gets more powerful and more charismatic, he gets hornier (or conversely, the hornier he gets, the more charismatic and powerful he gets.) That explains a lot...
- Visions & Voices' Logic stat increased the rate of both magical and physical critical hits, increased your overall damage, and increased the rate at which the ATB bar filled. While other stats also determined crits/damage/speed, Logic was the universal "Assassin" stat.
- The World Ends with You's Sync Ratio, sort of. The game does tell you what it does (determine how long the light puck stays around), but it's not in the manual or help menu, only mentioned in one area you're unlikely to see before you beat the game.
- In The Last Remnant, every character has a unique stat, a personality trait specific to that character. "Bravery", "audacity" and "independence" are some examples, but there are over 100. These stats affect the commands the leader can use in battle, as well as how individual units interpret those commands, but it is still not known exactly how this works.
- In Advance Wars, Flak and Jugger increase the dispersion of their units weapons (which is separate from luck); it basically means their units may do less damage than normal or more damage than normal. Their CO powers can increase this level of dispersion. However, it isn't as much of a Game Breaker as Nell's high luck, which is kind of like dispersion except that it never does less than normal damage.
- Super Robot Wars has a very odd example in Morale/Will. While it on the surface merely seemed to restrict when you can do certain attacks and needed to be high enough to activate certain abilities, it in reality it affected pretty much everything. It started at 100 and almost never went down except for spells used by players or story events -50 is the general minimum with 150 as the max—except for games with a skill that lets you take it to 170. The reason for this was that Morale was a percent in reality—150 meant a 50% bonus to all attack damage and soon, making Break Morale Limit a very good damage boosting still.
- Some skills like Coordinator and SEED Mode go hand to hand with this. The Former raising each pilot skill by 1 per 5 morale/will over 110, and the latter raising Evasion/Hit Rate/Critical Rate by 30% as well as a 10% boost to the final damage output of all attacks. Needless to say this can make a character virtually unhittable and never misses.
- In some of the early games, Morale can go as high as 200 without having to have any particular skills. Then you were playing with power.
- Why stop at playing with power when playing with ZA POWAA can crank it to 300?
- A much straighter example would be the Skill/Handling stat, which determines things such as critical rates, triggering of Blocking skills (Sword Cut, Shield Block, Shoot Down) and use of special techs such as Mercy or Attack Again.